Monday, August 25, 2014

Top 10 reasons to support my MS 150 ride

10. Your donation will directly help the more than 400,000 people in the U.S. with MS and their families (click on "donate", enter "Rebecca Leeb", leave "home state blank", donate!)

9. No. Ice. Needed. (just sayin)
yes, i am sitting in an ice bath. why would i do such an insane thing?
what can i say? i was young and gullible. ;)

8. You know exactly where your money is going and how it will be used to help people with MS: 60% of your donation will be used for programs, services and advocacy related to MS right in your back yard (in the southeastern US)!!

7. If you don't help out I will set my vicious attack cats on you. 
remember the bunny from
Monty Python's Holy Grail?
yeah, they are that vicious,

6. 40% of your donation will be used at the national level to support research efforts to stop disease progression, restore function, and end MS forever.

5. You will have my deep appreciation and promise that I will donate to your future fund raising efforts. 

4. Brenna likes to go to the beach with Bubbe while Poppy and I ride

3. I am less than $100 short of my $1000 fundraising goal so, now more than ever, every penny counts!

2. You will have the pleasure of reading my fabulous post-ride report detailing every dropped banana, bump in the road, and sore body part. 


1. You can feel good that you did your mitsvah (good deed) for the day, donated to a very worthy cause, helped people with MS and their families....and saved your ice for your favorite beverage


Thursday, August 14, 2014

3 weeks to go...but nearly $400 short of my goal

Good morning friends and family!

I want to start by saying to thank you to all of you for not cringing (ok, maybe you did cringe) when you saw this post appear on your facebook page.

It is getting to crunch time - I have 3 more weeks until the MS 150 bike ride but still have almost $400 to raise to meet my fundraising goal. Every little bit helps!!

With your donation, not only are you helping me to meet a goal (and possibly out-fundraise my dad!) but, more importantly, your donation helps the more than 400,000 individuals and families living with MS through research, advocacy, and support.

I also want to thank all of you who have already donated to my ride. Your gift (which, by the way, is totally tax deductable) means the world to someone living with MS.

If you haven't yet donated but are planning to, please consider taking a few minutes today to go to:

  1. National MS Society, Bike MS (click on "National...");
  2. Enter my name "Rebecca Leeb" and "NC" for the state;
  3. Make a donation.
Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy!

Thank you!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Spare change?

Got spare change in hand? Skip my plea and donate now: (click here -->) National MS Society 
Search by my name: Rebecca Leeb and help support my ride.

And for those of you who are still with me...

I just spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure out how to download the Pink Floyd song "Money" and insert it so that when you open this post it plays in the background. But, alas, I am just not that technologically savvy. So, if you wouldn't mind just humming your favorite song about money while reading this, I'd really appreciate it. 
Um, no that's not me to the right of my dad.
That is a toothsome bear.
Obviously. :D

It is that time of year again. The MS 150 is looming large in my future and I am knocking on your virtual door to ask you to help support a fantastic cause and an annual bonding experience for me and my dad. 

Yes, this is me and my dad.
See? Neither one of us looks like
a toothsome bear.
The MS 150 bike ride is a two-day fundraising event held on the coast of North Carolina for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The ride begins on and ends in New Bern, NC and lets participants choose routes up to 100 miles per day. This year's event is being held the weekend of September 6-7, 2014. 

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. The disease is progressive and increasingly debilitating. In the U.S. there are about 400,000 people living with MS and 2.1 million worldwide. So, it is likely that you know of a friend or relative who is living with MS. The MS Society supports research, education and provides support for individuals and families.

The ride is my opportunity to pay it forward. Although my life has not been directly touched by MS, participating in this event gives me a chance to try to help improve the lives of people with MS, their families, and their friends.

This is my third year participating in the MS 150 ride in New Bern, NC and I am excited that this year my dad and I plan to go the distance - 100 miles on day 1 and 50 miles on day 2. Last year over 2000 riders raised more than $1.75 million 60% of which was used for for programs, services and advocacy related to MS in the southeastern US. The remaining 40% supports national research efforts to stop disease progression, restore function, and end MS forever.

I can't describe what it means to me to undertake a ride like this with my dad who is my first riding partner. Last year I was thrilled to raise over $1000 for this amazing cause, and I hope to match, or better yet, exceed this amount this year. (please help!!)

But to do this I need your help! Please look under your couch cushions, in your jeans pockets, and at the bottom of your washing machine and pull together your spare change to support my ride and the National MS Society.

To donate go to: 
Search by my name: Rebecca Leeb
and help support my ride.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of people living with MS!

Thank you.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Making dad proud

My brother and I enjoy some astoundingly erudite conversations...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What do the movie Frozen, charities, and proud mommies have in common?

Brenna started Sunday school this past year, and she loves it. (Her Sunday school is called "Jewish Kids Group".) She loves it so much that she has told me on numerous occasions that she doesn't want to go to the YWCA (her regular preschool) anymore, she only wants to go to "Jewish School".  She loves her teacher Ms. Maya. She loves her class. And, she finally admitted, she loves that she doesn't have to take naps at Jewish school (because she is only there for 2.5 hrs) but she does at the Y (because she is there for 8 hrs/day) and she doesn't like taking naps because she "doesn't know how to sleep".

(Which, isn't that far off from the truth and why I am now used to being awoken way before the sun...and now that I have memorized Frozen, every time I am awoken by the pat-pat of a little hand I hear this little voice in my head say "The sky is awake. So I'm awake!")

But I digress.

One of the first things Brenna learned about at Sunday school was tzedakah and mitzvot (charity and good deeds). Every week I give Brenna $0.36 to bring for tzedakah. 36 cents is equal to 2 x the number chai (18). Chai is a mystical/good luck number. ("Chai" is pronounced with a gutteral loogie hawking noise at the start, almost "HHHhhheye", rather than the hard "CH" like chai tea (it's charity not a starbucks drink!!)  Often when Jews make donations to charity or gifts of money they will be made in multiples of 18 for good luck, hence $0.36. So she doesn't lose her tzedakah (between the car and her classroom), she carries it in an Angry Birds pencil case - probably the first and only known Angry Birds Tzedakah Case. :)
Fancy cape = Elsa..................Of course it does.
This past week was her last Sunday school class until next fall. Each child made his/her own tzedakah box to bring home. While all the other kids decorated the box itself, Brenna attached what looks like toilet paper (but is actually torn paper towel - still, a little creepy) to her box, stuck "jewels" onto it and made an Elsa tzedakah box. (Of course she did.) See the "cape"? that's how you can tell it is Elsa....because "Elsa wears a beautiful cape". (Duh, mommmy.)

I asked Brenna if we should put the tzedakah she would have taken to Sunday school into her Elsa box for the summer and at the end of the summer we can donate it to a charity of her choice. She said yes, she liked that idea.

I asked her what charity she would like to collect tzedakah for...

M: Do you want to collect money to help animals that don't have homes?
B: Mmmmm. No.
M: No? Umm, ok. Maybe collect money for kids and babies?
B: No. I want to collect money for people who don't have jobs, so they can have money and also buy toys for their kids.

I am so proud.
JKG Preschool class 2013-14

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Real mowers for reel men

A little over 2 years ago we finally acquired a yard. And with this yard came a house and bunch of green stuff (it's a stretch to call it grass) that got Michael all geeked out about buying something to cut it with. In our previous house I was able to cut the grass (monkey grass, aka lariope) with pruning shears. Granted it took me about 4 hours to get it all cut and a weed-eater would have done it in 0.001 the time, but that would have required owning a weed-eater, which I didn't.

So now we have, well, I'll call it "grass", but know that I use that term with literary license, and it needs to be cut with something other than scissors. Michael is running on and on about how we are going to get a "real" mower. Not a gas powered mower. A REAL mower. That you push. And I'm thinking, WTF? A real mower? As opposed to what? A fake one? But rather than display my lawn maintenance ignorance, I decided to just go along for the ride in the hope that I'll figure it out before I make myself look foolish. Besides, I just figured that my husband was having some sort of grass-fueled REAL man moment.

To fulfill the real mower fantasy, we headed over to our favorite big-box home improvement store and my husband leads me through the labyrinth of yard tools, whereupon I find myself standing in front of a display of grass cutting machinery. Michael bee-lines toward this little mower and stands in front of it salivating. I look at this little grass cutting implement and a lightbulb goes on over my head.

He wants a manual PUSH MOWER!! You know, the kind that has the rotating blades on a little barrel and requires real man (or woman) power to make it go. My dad had one of those. He used to punish my brother by making him mow the lawn with it.

It wasn't until many many conversations later that it was explained to me that it's not a REAL mower, describing the "real" man who powers it. Rather it's a REEL mower, describing the mechanism that makes the blades turn.

Oh. Right.
I knew that.

After being briefed on all the ins and outs of using a reel mower, I was granted the honor of becoming a real woman and cutting the grass. And, let me tell you, after pushing that thing through the weeds in the middle of July, I definitely felt like a real something-or-other!

Flash forward to this past weekend. Michael is away on a business trip and our patch of weeds is out of control.

The 2" of rain that fell on Saturday did nothing to curb the growth of greenery and our yard is beginning to look like an overgrown vacant lot through which you can no longer see that there is actually a house. Despite the spongy ground I decide that the grass is dry enough and I announce to Brenna that I am going to cut the grass.

This plan goes well for the strip of greenery between the street and the sidewalk.

Then I turn my attention to the green right in front of the house. Apparently the area near the curb gets more sun than the rest of the yard.

Pretty much all I succeeded in doing was mangling the weeds. After about 30 passes up and back trying to shorten the grass rather than skid over it or pull it out from the root (which wasnt' necessarily a bad thing for some of the knee high weeds), I called the grass cut and turned to planting flowers.

In the end, Brenna looked at my handiwork and said: Mommy, I thought you were going to cut the grass?
Me: I did.
B: No you didn't. You just flatted it.

At about this time, our friend Dayna comes over. She looks at the "mowed" grass and asks what I used to "flat" it. I told her I used a reel mower (which was now back in it's home under the house).

She looked at me like I'd lost my mind and said, "Real?! As opposed to what? Imaginary?" This led to the two of us rolling around on the grass making lawn mower noises and pretending to "flat the grass". Not sure what the neighbors thought but no one called the cops.

Truthfully, Brenna is right. It does look like I "flatted" the grass rather than mowed it.

But the flowers look nice.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

snow day recipe

It is the snowmageddon blizzaster in Atlanta. We are all stuck at home for at least 48 hrs...or until Saturday when the forecast high is supposed to be 65 deg. (No, I dont see anything weird about a 50 degree temperature swing over a 72 hr perioda0

With no school and a dead laptop, but plenty of power and southern snowstorm staples (bread, eggs and milk) Brenna and I baked.

brenna's snow day recipe for "apple pie"

flour - as much as you'd like - more is better...if you're 4 years old
multi colored sprinkles
chocolate jimmies
nestle's chocolate chunks
mini m&ms

a bowl
a wooden spoon
small rolling pin
a whisk
measuring cups in various sizes
cookie cutters - ours had a halloween theme...because everyone wants bats and pumpkins in Jan.

1. Have an adult put some flour in a bowl - the amount will be less than you want but if you whine about it you are likely to end up in your room by yourself. 
2. Mix by hand. A lot. - By hand means with your hands in the bowl
3. Add multicolored sprinkles
4. Add more sprinkles
5. Add chocolate chunks - these seem to be under adult control so you won't get as many as you'd like. 
6. Eat some of the chocolate chunks. (Dust the flour off of them before putting in your mouth)
7. Mix with your hands some more. Spill some on the floor and counter.

8. Pour mixture out of the bowl
9. Spread mixture on counter. Be sure to spill some more on the floor and your step stool or chair. Point out the spill to whatever adult is closest. If you are lucky, you will be right over a heating vent and can spill into the HVAC system
10. Return mixture to bowl (minus what falls on the floor and remains on the counter)
11. If you still have sprinkles, add more sprinkles
12. Request m&ms for your mixture. These are also adult controlled.
13. eat chocolate chunks and m&ms
14. Mix more. Use the whisk. This is sure to send stuff flying and is way fun.

15. Pour some mixture onto counter
16. Roll with rolling pin
17. "cut" with cookie cutters
18. Use your hands to push "dough" back together. 
19 Repeat all steps until you are done.
20. Be sure to drop more on floor and chair
21. By all means, manage to get the mixture in your hair

responses to important baking questions
B - now I need to add the apples
M - we dont have any apples
B - that's ok. we have sprinkles. how can you make apple pie without sprinkles?!
how indeed?!

M - how long does your pie need to bake?
B - 6!! Hours!! or 70. Yes 70!!
70 what I didn't even want to ask.

Note for adults who may wish to attempt this recipe with their own child:
This is an excellent way to clear out all those little bottles of cake decorations that have bee n haning out in the cabinet since the dawn of time.
Clean up may require an industrial shop-vac and high pressure hose so plan ahead
Entertainment value is worth the clean up.