Monday, February 23, 2009

Maintenance Monday?!?...Not hardly!

For those of you who are veteran readers of highlowaha you know that often Mondays are used to clear up some “maintenance” type activities. This week however, our blog is doing anything but maintaining…no, in fact we are getting a complete overhaul. New paint job, new rims, fancy new seat covers, and a great smelling air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror. Our hope is that we have several new passengers on board as well. But not everything is changing and thus this week will serve as an orientation to our newest members while highlighting some of highlowaha’s greatest traditions and rolling out some exciting new ones. Each day will be used to introduce a concept that is integral to the highlowaha community and many days we will open a new link on our website as well.

Today we talk about the Spirit of 218. Several months ago Claudia came clean with those of us in the highlowaha community about the fact that she had been touting 2/18 as the blog’s initial post when in fact it wasn’t until 2/19. Faced with the conundrum of being Troop 218 with no real connection to the number she put the dilemma out to the community to take a good “whack”. That day the concept of the “Spirit of 218” was born. The “Spirit of 218” became our community’s code for embracing each day as the opportunity to make the most out of life, share our creativity with others and return a sense of wonder into the world. Over the course of the last year we have seen the “Spirit of 218” play out in our service to the community, our Random Acts of Kindness, and our fundraising efforts.

Today I have the honor of rolling out what will become our blog’s cornerstone fundraising and service initiative…”The Gift of 218”.

As a child growing up I was the 6th of 7 children being raised by a single mother. You might imagine that feeding, clothing and providing a home for 7 children stretched the budget rather thin. As a result many “luxuries” in life were things we didn’t get to experience. Other members of our church family and local charities helped my Mom when it came to Christmas, clothes, winter jackets, and food on the table…the basics were provided and we couldn’t ask for much more. What I’ve realized though, as I’ve grown up is that I don’t remember the new pair of shoes or the box of cereal that was delivered, nor who delivered it. What I do remember is the church music minister who gave us a set of his tickets for the Cincinnati Opera on dress rehearsal night so we didn’t have to dress up. What I do remember is the friend of the family who took me to the Bengals Cheerleading Camp. What I do remember is getting our first family portrait taken at a professional photographer thanks to the generosity of someone dropping their free portrait coupon in our mailbox.

So when Claudia came to me with the concept for a cornerstone service initiative for highlowaha this is where my thoughts went. After toying with the idea of giving something tangible to families (a dinner table was one concept discussed) I threw out the idea of giving families the gift of an experience, a memory. Giving them the “Gift of 218”.

So beginning today the highlowaha community commits to raising funds to give nominated families the gift of an experience…any experience. Whether it is sending a child to camp, buying a zoo membership, affording the opportunity to take music lessons or any other experience you can craft, highlowaha is on board to help make it happen. In a few days we’ll begin taking nominations for families to whom you’d like to give the “Gift of 218” but beginning today we are asking you to help us start down the path towards raising the funds necessary to create these experiences.

Today I ask that each of you commit to our newest initiative and make a donation to the “Gift of 218”. Visit the “Gift of 218” page today and make a donation by check, cash or paypal in any form of 218 ($21.80, $2.18, $218, 2+1+8=$11, 2 x 1x 8= $16…you get the picture) and you’ll earn a patch for your patchwork denim but more importantly you’ll have helped to give the gift of an experience to a family and I promise you…that will be unforgettable.


  • Email Subscription: Don’t forget that you can now email subscribe to the blog. Check out the new feature on the sidebar of the blog to the right. There is a spot that says: Subscribe via email. Enter your email address. Feedburner will then send you an email to confirm you want to receive the emails. Click the link in your email and you will begin receiving Highlowaha updates in your email box every day! Our goal is to have a total of 25 community members subscribed by Sunday evening. Go subscribe now! You're guaranteed to never miss a new post again!
  • Patchwork Fashion Show: For those of you with a piece of patchwork denim already in your possession and adorned with some great patchwork, we will have a Highlowaha Patchwork Fashion Show on Thursday, February 26. To participate in this event, take a photo of your patchwork denim and email it to by 5 pm on Wednesday, February 25. For those of you with patches in your possession but not yet adorned to a piece of denim... there is no time like the present! All those participating in this event will earn a "2nd year" patch marking your participation in the second year of this great community!
  • Cookbook Recipes: Don’t forget that Tera has agreed to organize the first Highlowaha Cookbook. Whether it is your Olympic or Super Bowl entry, your People’s Choice Awards Party appetizer or just your favorite recipe, dig out all those winning recipes and pass them along to Tera - either by snail mail or by email. In an effort to roll it out in time for Mother’s Day the deadline to submit is March 18th.
  • Krysten's Sweet 16: Many of you may remember that Maureen used our input from a "Free for all Friday" many months ago as she planned her daughter's sweet 16 party. Below are the pictures from the big night!

Signing off until Tomorrow...


Just Ducky said...

A quick note...if you decide to donate today by check or cash please send us an email at to let us know so we can get you your patch.

Devil Dog said...

Nicely done, Heather. I am super excited about this initiative. I think it will give Highlowaha a venue for not only applying our creativity, but also an on-going place for us to channel our pension for service.

Let me get the ball rolling this morning...

21 x 8 = 168. $168 it is. Remember, the amount you are able to give is not what is important. Let it be 21 + 8 = .29 cents or $2.18. The important thing is that you send us a small sign that you are willing to take this journey with us.

Now... off to my first day of work.

Bean Counter said...

Good morning, HLA!!!!

I'm here at the DFW Airport and just wanted to check in very quickly before a day of traveling! First, thanks to Claudia and family for hosting me this past week...more memories to last a lifetime!

As for the Gift of 218... I am very excited about this initiative. I feel as though this will be a great way to HLA to continue sharing its blessings with the world and make memories one family at a time.

I will follow Claudia by saying that I, too, will make a gift today! I will give 2 x 18= $36 from me!

Have a great first day of work, Claudia!!! I can't wait to hear how it goes!

maureen said...

I love the way you "highlighted" Krysten's Sweet 16. I have to say that it was the most awesome party I have ever been to. Also she is invited to 7 more of them so we keep learning things. I took pictures of her centerpieces etc and will email them to Claudia to keep on hand for ideas. Thank you all so much for taking such and interest in our special day.

As for the donation how should I go about it? Should I mail a check to Claudia? I will send an email to verify this.

Have a good day HLA!!!! I hope you are all warmer than I am here in NY. My computer was counting down Krysten's party but I need to change it to "Spring".

Cruise Director said...

I have made my donation via PayPal. I can't wait to give the first memory!

Kristen's party looked like it was a winner!! Yay!

Katie, safe travels today.

Claudia, welcome back to the workforce! May your day be productive and the time fly right by.

Tera said...

Claudia - Good luck on your first day of work!

Katie K - Have a safe trip back to VA.

All - I really like the idea of the Gift of 218. I think it's a cool idea and know that we are going to make some awesome things happen!

COOK BOOK RECIPES can be emailed to me at or snail mailed to Tera Johnson, 2590 North Moreland, E22, Shaker Heights, OH 44120. If you posted them in the old blog, I didn't get them so please repost or send!


Heather said...

Cash or check works...or you can do paypal from the Gift of 218 page linked to the front of the site.

Thanks for helping build this new tradition!

Anonymous said...

Love the pics from the party!

Claudia - thinking of you on your first day of work.

Cruise Director said...

On a side note-- Chaotic and Melanie, thank you for your lip prints. I received them this weekend.

Just Ducky said...

Where is everyone today...we miss you in HLA Land!

Tera-We'll get the recipes posted to the old site to you in the next few days.

Tera said...

Thanks Heather!

Anonymous said...

Seriously it just ate my post. :-(

Bean counter - I worry about ppl flying, let us know you're home safely.

Paypal was easy once I figured it out.

Gotta work on my denim and my lip prints (can I have instructions again please?).

Claudia - no internet access at work?

I'm trying to avoid working - anyone else have AIM? (robinPreg)

Bean Counter said...

Robin and all, I am safe and sound back in Virginia! Now I just have an hour drive back to campus and I will be all set! Thanks for the safe travels wishes! 3 month countdown until my return to Texas!

cassie p said...

dr. b, hope you had a great first day of work.

Katie- glad you made it back safely.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Katie! I can quit obsessively checking the site for updates!

Chaotic said...

2x1x8= $16 so I send a check :-)
Also, sorry to be so late in posting today... almost forgot about it, this late in day.:-( Boss is ill & cranky so I did not get to do my AM reminder but since I posted that my goal is to participate EVERY M-F, here I am!!

Just Ducky said...

Julie? Kristen? Peggy? Where are you guys?

Peggy how was Indianapolis? Did Sissy win?

Cruise Director said...


Subscribe to the site via email then all you have to do is check your email and Voila! Every post will be in your inbox waiting for you M-Sat. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry :( Dr. @@ is back from vacation, so work is busy, and then coming back home from the v-ball tourney...I'll check back later
Anonymous at work aka Peggy

b.k.root said...

I'll send a contribution... Don't have a lot of money now, but I'll send a small contribution.

21/8 = 2.625 (or $2.63)

Devil Dog said...

Brian... The amount one donates is not near as important as your gesture of support. Thanks for the donation.. and math tutorial!!!!

I am so impressed with the generosity of this group!