Malaise Managed

We are very, very lucky people. When my windshield started leaking and my car interior flooded, the shop that had replaced the windshield fixed the leak for free. We have had stormy storms for about a week now, so this was excellent news. As was the ability of the iPad geniuses to fix Leo's bricked iPad yesterday. As was the AT&T insurance policy folks' ability to replace Iz's bricked iPhone yesterday. As was the tire shop's ability to repair rather than replace the flat tire that nearly stranded me in San Francisco an hour before I'd needed to pick up Mali and her friends from school yesterday. As was my sweet, sweet husband's ability to change that flat to a spare in the dark & pouring rain. Overall, it does lend a pecked-to-death-by-ducks feeling to the day-to-day, but every single one of those incidents was fixable because we are lucky people.

The non-insurance-policy-fixable stuff, the non-bloggable stuff, has been a bit more interesting and intense -- but even so, we are a tight crew with many, many parachutes at our disposal. We are lucky.

And when things get particularly malaise-inducing, I have my son to remind me about how to bust a grump slump. Specifically, seek out:

1) Beautiful coastal hikes with coin-operated telescopes
[Image: Leo from behind, wearing a red tee, looking through
a blue telescope at distant rock formations and ocean waves]

2) Otherwise unapproachable rock formations, seen through said telescope:
[Image: Diagonally striated rocks with ocean
waves in front, surrounded by a black then
a white circular field.]
3) Whooping it up on a nearly empty trail on a glorious day with abandon and no worries*, as everyone has stayed away either due to holiday shopping or rain worries:
[Video: Leo happily whooping as he hops towards the camera.]

4) A good long challenging hike in even though the trail is completely paved. (Wondering what our wheelchair-using friends think of the 9% grade section -- it's about 1/4 mile long):
[Image: yellow sign with black type reading
"9% GRADE," in front of rocky slope, beside
concrete road barrier & asphalt road.]
5) A half-mile-long fence for clacking a stick along its entire length:
[Image: Leo wearing red tee & shorts, holding
a beige stick against a black metal fence
with slim vertical posts every few inches.]
6) The same fence, but use your hand instead of the stick. Even better sensory fun:

[Video: Leo running his knuckles over slim, closely-spaced black metal fence posts
while walking along the fence, wearing shorts and shirt in his beloved bright red.]

Exercise and/or fresh air usually have a beneficial effect on my mood. But I don't always have the gumption to get the hell outside or on the trail, so am grateful to Leo for hauling my butt to where it needed to be this past weekend.

*If you or your child cannot resist hopping over short fences, Devil's Slide trail is not the place for you, given the steep cliffs dropping directly onto craggy rocks and ocean waves directly adjacent to several stretches of the walking areas.


It's Giving Tuesday: Give a Shot@Life Today

Today is Giving Tuesday, an initiative to remind people that the holiday season is about giving, not just shopping.

Ideally, Giving Tuesday is about supporting non-profit organizations. Organizations like Shot@Life, the UN Foundation's global vaccines initiative. An organization that, as a vocal vaccine advocate, I support wholeheartedly.

I want to ask you to support Shot@Life today, too.

Giving Tuesday is a great day for you to support Shot@Life, because you won't be alone. MAM USA, maker of unique baby products, is celebrating Giving Tuesday by pledging $25,000 to Shot@Life -- and then Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged to match it -- for a total of $50,000. Which is definitely a great start.

But if you participate, every dollar you donate today will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -- up to $200,000. Up until 11:59 PM PT.

Even better -- during the "doorbuster" (5am-9am PT), every dollar you donate will be matched 2:1. That means if you donate one dollar during that time, it magically becomes three.

If you want more convincing about vaccines themselves: Bill and Melinda Gates believe that vaccines are one of the best investments you can make to improve global health. I agree, which is why I've both written for the Gates Foundation about the importance of vaccines, and work with Shot@Life to help get life-saving vaccines to those who need them.

So please: spread the word, donate -- I've set up a personal Team Immunity Shot@Life Fundraising Page -- and thank you for making today all about Giving.