Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Why I Don't Like "Like"

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and felt like they were not listening? Your conversation begins and the other person suddenly takes a deep interest in the dust bunnies in the corner. Or you go to the doctor and explain that you are using mindfulness meditation to help with your panic attacks and he says, "uh huh, that's nice."
"Uh huh, that's nice."
On social media, I've written blogs and micro-blog posts and from some comments it's pretty obvious that the person really didn't read what I wrote. To me, that's the on-line equivalent of not listening. We can usually tell when someone isn't paying attention (not listening) by their irrelevant or off-target comments.

The Facebook "Like" function provides an icon which, with just one-click, informs the writer that you have "liked" their Facebook post. But what does that mean? Did they read the post and find it compelling? Do they agree with you? Do they really "like" what you wrote or is it an on-line equivalent of "uh huh, that's nice?"

Do they really "like" what you wrote or is it an on-line equivalent of "Uh huh, that's nice?" 

In a previous post, I noted that social media brings out aspects of my personality of which I am not proud. I confess that, like many people, I've been guilty of "drive-by" likings: I just bring up my news feed, not really reading a posting but just clicking "like" and moving on.

I don't like the fact that I do that.  

As noted in a recent article in UU World (Unitarian Universalist Association) by Christine C Robinson and Alicia Hawkins titled Listen Thickly, "the world is hungry for sharing soul to soul."
Yet social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are designed for quick connections. Unfortunately, that brings out superficial behavior in me.
Social media is one component of interpersonal communications; let's not make it the only one.
I want to be more authentic in my relationships, even on line. I want to be connected by more than electronics and "drive-by likes." I want to listen thickly rather than listen thinly and I want to be heard.

Social media is the current landscape, and I can't change that. But social media is one component of interpersonal communications; let's not make it the only one.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#ADA25, Stringy-thingies, and Complete Ignorance

Last Sunday (26 July 2015) was the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil-rights law that makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in housing, employment, transportation, public facilities, and telecommunications.

As an advocate for increased awareness for disabilities at my fellowship (UUFN), I thought last Sunday would be a good day to have a conversation around the ADA during the Story for All Ages (aka the children’s story that I've mentioned before).

So I started with a hunk of blue wax that has a stringy-thingy sticking out the top. Yes, it was a candle and the stringy-thingy was the wick. I showed different candles and compared them to an electronic candle that has an artificial wick. Once upon a time, the candles with the stringy-thingies told the candles with the artificial wicks that because the candles with artificial wicks need batteries to function, they had to go to different schools. Because the stringy-thingies didn’t know how long the batteries would last, they wouldn’t hire the candles with artificial wicks. Eventually, the candles with artificial wicks got fed up and wanted to talk to their lawmakers, but they couldn’t get up the stairs. (You can listen to the story here.)

Photo by Pat Field
Of course the kids recognized that this was a silly story. But then I changed the story, and replaced the characters from candles to people, specifically able-bodied vs. people in wheelchairs. That’s when the adults understood the point of the story. The kids still couldn’t relate because they are young and have no memory of a time when people in wheelchairs were denied acceptance to college or denied jobs or housing or were considered a fire hazard. They have no memory of buildings without ramps or elevators or accessible parking spaces.
"Maybe that ignorance is a good thing, meaning that living in a time of such rampant discrimination is in our past to stay."
Maybe that ignorance is a good thing, meaning that living in a time of such rampant discrimination is in our past to stay. But that ignorance might also mean that the fight stops here, which would be bad because we still have a lot of work to do. For example, we need to enforce the ADA better, and we need to increase awareness and understanding.  Here are a few examples of the work still to be done in Delaware:

Mobility:  Only 44% of Delaware’s curbs have curb cuts to allow wheelchairs, scooters, and even strollers to cross the street. (Source)

Hospitalization: When my friend was hospitalized, they put him in a room with a bathroom that was too small to accommodate his wheelchair.

Transportation: Although Delaware does have a Paratransit system, it does not run on Sundays and does not cross county lines. People who wanted to complain during a Paratransit meeting at the state capitol (in the next county) were unable to attend because they could not get a ride.

Churches and places of worship are exempt from the ADA laws, so any work we do to make our worship spaces more accessible and welcoming is a spiritual practice, not a legal one. So is this my new calling?
Photo credit UUA

May the spirit in us rise to the occasion, and may we make more progress in the next 25 years.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Shot a Day

No, I'm not talking about medication or alcohol. 

While in Chicago for an MS bloggers forum, I was dreading the impending discussion about social media.  I will confess that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Mostly hate.

Years ago, I was an early adopter of technology and social media sites as part of my different jobs, which required me to stay current on computer technology trends. Back in the 90's, I was using the Internet before AOL launched a flat-rate campaign and crashed all its servers (remember busy signals and phone modems?). I was on Facebook before it monetized and before the mysterious 'like-comment-share' algorithms. I had a My_Space page back when that was cool. I worked briefly with a co-founder of Wikipedia to coordinate a meeting about wikis. I used on-line chat rooms and bulletin boards to learn about Multiple Sclerosis when I was first diagnosed. So I'm not a luddite or technophobe.

If used for good, social media can provide a valuable communication tool to share information.  But social media can amplify our inner narcissist. It definitely brings out the superficial, attention-grabbing baby in me, which I'm constantly fighting. I'm not authentic on Facebook or Twitter, I'm putting out an image. Not "Authentic Joan," but rather "On-line Presence Joan." 

But at the Chicago forum, it was pointed out that social media IS the current landscape, so I decided that I would have to jump in again. I heard a bit of enthusiasm for Instagram, so decided to see what the fuss was about. I found a lot of cell-phone pictures, but also an opportunity for my own creativity. Not a forum to mold an imaginary self, but a forum to reflect what I see.

I decided to post one photo each day (almost) that summed up my day from my perspective, which is why you won't see many pictures of me. It was a challenge, finding just one shot, especially since most of my day is spent napping. You can see the results on my Instagram page. Many pictures also got shared to Facebook and Twitter if I was feeling particularly needy, which I was (social media does that to me!).

Here's a sample of some of my favorites shots.

I called this "Cool Yin and Yang clouds."

I snapped a photo of my reflection in the sliding glass door, and saved this for a day when I didn't feel like I was all together.

After struggling with how to shoot a wild sunflower that popped up in our hedgerow (probably a stray black oil sunflower seed from our bird feeders), I captured a goldfinch picking seeds out of the face.

I still don't enjoy how social media makes me feel, but I do enjoy having this new creative outlet. It's a whole different experience. Thanks for letting me share this with you. (Feeling just a little less needy right now...)

You can follow me on Instagram at


Sunday, July 12, 2015

There Are No Guarantees in Nature

So the Bluebirds didn't win after all. 

While reporting that we had two eggs in our Eastern Bluebird nest, I said that there are NO guarantees in nature.  And today, I discovered that there are now NO eggs in the nest box.

This is not the first time that we've discovered missing eggs.  In fact, about 55-80% of Eastern Bluebird nesting attempts fail (ref: 

As always, there is no evidence to explain what happened: no egg shell pieces, no flattened nest or grass areas, no footprints, no smoking gun. The nest box is mounted on a metal pole protected by a baffle and out in the open. The nest is low in the box so the eggs were deep in the box.

It's possible that wrens or sparrows are the guilty party.

Yet, somehow, life finds a way to go on. So will I.


Friday, July 10, 2015

And the Winner of the Battle Box Is...

... the Bluebirds.  

Catbird demanding airspace rights
For now, anyway. As of 10 July 15, the Eastern Bluebirds have two new eggs in the nest box that was the subject of a custody dispute explained in my last post.  (Although a Catbird has applied for ownership of the airspace on top of the box because it needs a lookout point.)

Carolina Wren
But as we all know, there are no guarantees in nature. The Bluebirds still face threats to their nest and eggs from wrens and Evil House Sparrows. They have to dodge predators like owls and domestic cats. There is competition for food from Catbirds and Mockingbirds. 

Male Bluebird grabbing mealworms for babies.

The Bluebird parents are still feeding their young from the last brood, which takes energy and attention away from the nest. 
Two hungry baby Bluebirds.

So maybe the only guarantee in nature is that it is always changing.

I know this, but often my brain refuses to accept this as a fact. Then discomfort arises when I refuse to make space for change and begin to think and act like I'm a victim, when, in fact, I do have a choice in how I will respond. And sometimes the response is NOT to respond. 

This is something I have to re-learn every day. Every day, I have to start over and make peace with change. One of my favorite quotes (source unknown): "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." I choose not to suffer. But tomorrow I will have forgotten that, and will start over. Again.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Battle Box

Once upon a time, we had a peaceful backyard. (Cue the Disney fairy meadow music.) 

The Eastern Bluebirds had a successful brood in our Bluebird Nest Box and started on a second family; but, Evil European House Sparrows attacked the second nest, destroyed the eggs and chased out the Bluebirds (cue sound track from Psycho). 

In the US, Evil European House Sparrows are not native, are very destructive, and considered a pest. They are one bird species not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so we Nest Watchers are allowed to interfere with their nest building and allowed to trap them, but responsibly. Once the Evil House Sparrows were gone, the box was available. (Cue Disney music again.) 

A little House Wren (illegal to harm them, but still a threat to Bluebirds) started to build a nest (out of twigs) in the fresh Bluebird's box.  

But then the Bluebirds came back (cue music from Jaws), and started to build a nest of grasses on top of the Wren's twigs.  

Then the Wren came back and threw out the Bluebird's grasses. 

The Bluebird came back and said, "Hey, where's my stuff and what the h#ll are YOU doing in my house?" and chased the Wren away. 

The battle for occupancy continues to wage. All I can do is watch and hope the Evil House Sparrows don't ruin the plot.

Who knew that bird watching could be this exciting?


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hotel Art Tourist

Most people don't notice the artwork on hotel walls.  I do. 
I used to enjoy traveling, but now find it to be physically and mentally challenging, which means that just getting to a hotel room is all the excitement I can take.  

I recently went to the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel for the MS Bloggers Forum, sponsored by Novartis (they provided airfare, travel, hotel, and meals).  While there, a number of participants explored Chicago, wandered along the river, visited the Navy Pier and the Millennium Park.  

I, on the other hand, was just too spent from the travel and conference, so chose to limit my explorations to the hotel lobbies. And what a thrill!  The hotel completed a major renovation by the Gettys Group in May that included art capturing the magic of a big city: "...small pieces coalesce to create a picture."  It was the hidden elements that provided moments of giddy delight for me.

Take, for example, the picture of the huge taxi behind the registration area:
It's pretty obvious, right?

But the excitement comes when you get up close and see that...

... the taxi picture was made from pencils!
I spent a lot of time considering a 3-D piece on the second floor lobby.  Take a look and see if you can read the message (I had to ask the hotel staff):

The answer is:

So even though I couldn't visit the normal tourist spots in Chicago during my brief visit, I was treated to an amazing art exhibit that gave me the flavor of the city, and an exhibit that I suspect many people just don't notice.

PS - I did get Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza. Yum!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Insecurities: Arise!

There is nothing like being with some of the best MS bloggers and writers in the US to stir up my insecurities.  So when I'm insecure, I blog.

In a few hours, I'm heading to the Philly airport to go to Chicago for an all-expenses paid, Novartis-sponsored MS Bloggers Forum where I'll have a chance to schmooze with some of my favorite MS writers and activists. This is the second time I've been invited, and I'm honored to be asked to come back.  I don't know the complete line-up of luminaries, but here are a few that I'm excited to meet or to see again.

While I'm waiting for the car to pick me up, I'm re-reading Matt Cavallo's "7 Steps to Living With a Chronic Illness" and Yvonne deSousa's very funny "MS Madness."  I'm looking forward to seeing my vibrant guru Jon Chandonnet, whose book, "Shadow Summit," I reviewed back in 2013. I can't wait to see Lisa Emrich again, whose blog "Brass and Ivory" and her work with,, and numerous other health groups helps to make sense of medical information. Then there's Dave Bexfield of Active MSers fame, whose humor makes me forgive the fact that he's so darn active in spite of MS.

But while I wait and realize who I'm going to see, I feel like Bill and Ted (Wayne's World) when they are about to meet Alice Cooper, and my brain keeps chanting their famous line: "We're Not Worthy".  

See you in Chicago, blogger buddies!



Monday, June 15, 2015

The Origins of "The Flickering Lamp"

Until Sunday, I thought the most frightening thing in the world was to be the person who reads a children's story (for all ages) during our church services. This Sunday, though, I realized that the most frightening thing in the world was to be the person who reads a children's story (for all ages), but without the story.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating about what frightens me (a little). But what made me nervous this Sunday was that I didn't plan to "read" a story to the children; instead, we had a "conversation" in front of the congregation (anyone remember Art Linkletter?).

Our theme was Body and Soul, so I chose to talk about the Body (left the Soul to the minister) and how some people have hidden broken body parts (aka invisible illness). Other people can't see the broken parts so might think that a person who acts differently is faking or just wanting attention.  I brought along a little table lamp to illustrate a device that has a short in its cord (hidden broken body part) which causes the light bulb to act differently. Sometimes the bulb lights up, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it flickers.  No, the lamp is not lazy, it's just wired differently.

The children were very attentive, engaged, and so funny.  "What do you think is wrong with the lamp? I asked. "It's bored," was the first response. The rest of the conversation was just as creative, and in the end the children suggested that we need to be nice to people even though they might act differently.

After the service, more than one adult commented that they noticed a similarity between what I've told them about Multiple Sclerosis and the poor flickering lamp. So for my church friends who didn't already know, the inspiration for last Sunday's children's story, which Rev. Andrew Weber named "A Flickering Lamp," is my e-book titled  A Short in the Cord.

A Short in the Cord:
A Retrospective on Living and Coping with MS

You can download or read an MS Word version by clicking on the link.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Final Final Results from the MS Walks

UPDATED figures are in, and the Wheeler's Wobblers raised $11,270.72 between our two 2015 MS walks in Wilmington and Newark, Delaware. You did a great job again this year, and I want to say "Thank you for walking, donating, and cheering!"

Because this is my last year as team captain, (feel free to volunteer if you want all the fame and glory), I thought I'd recap and give your our final results.  

In the six years that the Wobblers participated in the Delaware MS Walks, we raised almost $55,000. 

We grew from 8 teammates to almost 50. We expanded to participating in two cities. We had walkers from as far away as Pittsburgh (PA), Baltimore (MD), Landenberg (PA), and Middletown (DE).  We had congressmen and doctors (medical and PhD) and people with MS and people who didn't know anything about MS. 

We had fundraisers, a wine tasting, dinners at Ruby Tuesday, and pendant sales. We had corporate sponsors and for a few years had a team t-shirt. 

Of course, what made us famous was our huge team sign that made us the envy of all who gazed upon it (thanks to The Husband).

But most important, we made a lot of connections with the community and had a blast doing it.

Thank you, everyone. And remember, "Wheelers wobble but we don't fall down thanks to YOUR support!"

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Friday, May 15, 2015

We'll Pause Now for This Station Break

2015 has been a whirlwind already.  As I noted in an earlier blog ("I Can Do This"), I over committed to activities and, believe it or not, I am STILL paying for it physically and mentally.  It was all good stuff, but even the little tasks that only take one or two hours a week or happen only once a month will add up to a demanding, energy-draining schedule. 

Just yesterday, I forgot my fundamental rule for personal energy management: "Do no more than one event a day."  I had blood drawn in the morning, then saw my PCP in the afternoon, then had to spend time at the pharmacy. Sounds like no big deal, but it exhausted me and I had to cancel an evening event (but it's only once a month).

Okay, Universe, message received.

Now that the MS Walks are finished (we raised $11,000!) and I have very few hanging commitments, I'm clearing my schedule to spend some time recharging and reflecting. Coincidentally, blogger Cathy Chester (from "An Empowered Spirit") feels the same way and wrote a beautiful post called "Renewal: It's Time For Me to Take a Short Break." She's more eloquent on the subject, so I'm referencing her post here:

As Cathy says in her post

"The year 2015 has been filled with many challenges for us and I need a chance to breathe. Like the budding flowers in our garden I, too, want a chance to feel renewed."

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk Results


We raised $11,000 (and 72 cents). WOW is all I can say over and over. THANK YOU!

Wilmington (21 walkers): $6,777.72
Newark (34 walkers): $4,223  


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Leap and the Net Will Appear

Quote from John Burroughs, American author and naturalist:
"Leap and the net will appear"
Today, this Eastern Bluebird finally got up the courage to leap from the comfort and safety of its nest box, where it had hatched about two weeks ago. But on the way out, it stumbled and caught itself on the edge of the box. After flapping madly, it landed on the top of the baffle under the box.  It finally flew away to the safety of the trees while its sibling watched from inside the box.

It takes courage to try something new, to leave the comfort of the known.  
But sometimes that effort will bring us a better view.  


Friday, May 1, 2015

Diverse Groups - One Goal

Our Newark (Delaware) Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk team is made up of diverse groups that at first glance seem to have nothing in common.

For example, the 5th and 6th grade "Roots and Shoots" children from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark will be walking along with members from the University of Delaware wrestling team;

Dax, a dog from the Canine Companions for Independence we be walking alongside a woman who has run numerous marathons;

Friends from the Newark Main Street Multiple Sclerosis support group and Middletown Lunch Bunch MS support group will be walking (rolling/being pushed) alongside a woman from western Pennsylvania.

What brings them all together?  The common desire to see an end to Multiple Sclerosis.

It's not too late to be a part of this great movement.  You can join us in Newark, Delaware, Buffalo Wild Wings on Sunday, May 3.  You can still donate to the team or to a walker.  Just go to this site to get details:

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Can Do This!

The last few months have really challenged my energy management. Between MS walk fundraisers, MS walks, speaking engagements, conducting a workshop, yada yada yada, I lost my routine for rest, exercise, meditation, and proper nutrition.  The tank has been empty for a few weeks. When I get this exhausted, I go on auto-pilot where I can push through the fatigue but not remember anything that I did. Then my body gets back at me with a rerun of all the MS symptoms I've ever experienced all at once. And just for fun, it drops a boulder on me just to show me who's really running this show.

I call that a "physical reaction" to stress. I'm not complaining, really. But when I need to push through because I have committed to something, I look for a theme song.

My current theme song is "I Can Do This." It was written by David Osmond, son of Alan Osmond, nephew of Donnie and Marie.  Both David and his father, Alan, have MS.  David is currently working with Novartis (the national sponsor for this years MS Walks and maker of Gilenya) on a program called "Our Voice in Song" to raise awareness of relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Check it out at   

The words to I Can Do This resonate with me, especially the refrain, and has kept me going:

I can do this - Just stick around, you'll see
Going through this - takes every part of me
What I'm feeling down inside's like a roller-coaster ride
But it's true, yes - I can, I can

I can do this - I want the world to see
I can do this - Look what I have done with me
I'll keep my hands up high on this roller-coaster ride
Cause it's true, yes - I can do this

I can do this. Just take it one moment at a time. I can do this. Until the roller coaster ride comes to a stop, I can hang on.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight: East Coast Turnaround Rock Band

Continuing to highlight sponsors of the Wheeler's Wobblers Multiple Sclerosis Walk Team, Newark, Delaware

Thank you to Western PA Wobbler teammate Tina Moore for collecting a donation from the rock band East Coast Turnaround for the Newark MS Walk on May 3. Although they call themselves "The Fathers of Trucker Rock," it feels a bit like what we used to call "southern rock." Whatever you want to call it, it's good music. Some of my favorites include "Midnight Special" and  "Where's My Sunshine?"

Check out their YouTube channel videos, then let's see if "Smyrna at Night" can snag them (they got Lovebettie, so why not another Pittsburgh band?). 
Follow them on Facebook:

Thank you, East Coast Turnaround, for your support!

(Photo credit: Tina Moore)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight: Susan King, Fused Glass Artist

Susan King, a Newark (Delaware) fused glass artist, has generously donated 23 pendant necklaces as a Wheeler's Wobblers Multiple Sclerosis Walk Team fundraiser, which we are selling for $10. Each is a one-of-a kind piece of art, and we've already sold ten.

They will be sold after the April 26 Sunday service at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark by the 5th and 6th graders, who will be joining the MS Walk in Newark on May 3rd. If you can't make it that day, send me a note and I'll hold one for you (local customers only, please). 
Susan King's work is absolutely beautiful. Here she is holding a bowl that I purchased.  Susan will be teaching at Art Space on Main in Elkton, MD, on Saturday May 16, 10:30 - 1:00pm.  They will be marbling with liquid glass! More information is at the end of this post.

She has glass dishes for sale at Art Space on Main (Elkton, MD), the Newark Art Alliance, and The Center for Creative Arts in Yorklyn, DE.

More information about her upcoming marbling glass class:

10:30 am to 1pm
Art Space on Main, 133 W Main St, Elkton, MD 21921

Do you like the look of marbled paper?  Try making it with glass.  We will have patterns for you to follow or create your own.  No experience necessary.  All materials & tools provided.  $40 each class.  Children under 8, $20.  Taught by Susan King.  For information & to register, contact Art Space on Main: 410-620-2464; artspaceonmain@yahoo.comReturning students may work on their own projects.   

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wilmington Walk Results!

Update to my last post: 

Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk Team Wilmington raised $6,742.72!   

Great job, everyone! Thank YOU for your hard work and support!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thank You!

I'm sending out a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported the Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk Team efforts in Wilmington last Saturday: the walkers, the donors, the sponsors, the walk staff.

It was a sunny day, but very windy.  We had our famous Wheeler's Wobblers team sign up for a short while before we decided it was not safe and packed it up. Then the wind decided to toss our tent across the parking lot, crashing into the registration tent. Fortunately, the walk had already started so there were not a lot of people in the area.

We didn't have our own registration table this year, so it will be a while before I find out how much we raised, but I know it will be over $6,000!  Way to wobble!

But, no resting on our laurels, yet. We are now gearing up for the MS Walk in Newark, DE on Sunday, May 3rd.  

"Wheeler's wobble but we don't fall down, thanks to YOUR support!"

Friday, April 3, 2015

One Week To Go! Can You Sponsor Me?

Greetings to all friends and followers of A Short in the Cord blog and the Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk Team! You are the great people interested in helping to rid the world of Multiple Sclerosis.

There is one week left before the Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk team wobbles for the sixth year in Wilmington, Delaware.  We have raised over $45,000 toward MS research and programs.

Shirt from The MS Shoppe

My personal goal is to raise $3,000 this year. So far, I have received $2,120 in personal donations.  To those who have already contributed, I say THANK YOU!  

Can you help me reach my goal by making a tax-deductible donation? Even a small donation will make a big difference.  Just go to the link below to get to my personal page.

There's still time to join the team, too.

"Wheelers wobble but we don't fall down, thanks to YOUR support!"


Friday, March 27, 2015

Want to Help Me Have a Very Happy Birthday?

Yes, it's that dreaded day again. 

No, not the arrival of the day that reminds me that I am one year older. Although I am one year older today, I am grateful that I am lucky enough to have this complaint.

Rather, this is the arrival of the day every year when I ask you to donate to my fundraising efforts for Multiple Sclerosis research and programs.  Yes, this is the equivalent of an NPR fundraising campaign.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible donation to my MS Walk fundraising efforts?  Every donation will make me very, very happy. And very, very grateful!

If so, you can donate on-line at my walk site here:

Thank you for your support!
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fundraising: One Step at a Time

Believe me, I know first-hand how challenging it is to ask for help or ask for money.  It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary. It fills you with dread. You don’t want to beg.  I can hear the groaning coming from your belly. "Please, please, please don't make me do this," you plead.

The most important thing to remember is that many people actually WANT to help in some way. It makes them feel good about themselves. You are raising money to help find a cure for a disease that debilitates thousands of people in our area. You are raising money to provide programs for people who need help getting around the house or need help getting through one day at a time. You are raising money to help people who find taking one step to be a major hurdle.

So I encourage all the Wheeler's Wobblers team members to 
take just one step this week for those who can’t. 

Just ask one person to sponsor you, even for $5 or $10. Then if it makes both of you feel good, take another step.  For the reader who is not (yet) a Wobbler, I encourage you to join the team or make a tax-deductible donation to our cause (link is provided below). Any donation, no matter how small or large, will help many people.

For this year’s MS Walks in the Delaware area, here are some incentives to encourage you to ask just a few people to sponsor you in your MS walk fundraising efforts:

Raise at least $25 to receive a post-walk meal.

Raise $100 or more and receive a really cool commemorative Walk MS T-shirt.

Prize levels above the $250 level will be available from our online prize redemption company.

Raise $500 or more to join the elite Orange Club with special prizes AND bragging rights.  Last year’s Orange Club members include Donna Hunt, Eleanor Pollak, and Anne Green. Just ask Anne, the bragging rights are worth it.
Anne Green raised over $500 and became a member of the Orange Club

Raise $1,000 or more to join the even more elite VIP Club. I and The Husband are VIPs, and believe me that life feels good in this club knowing that we are making a difference.

Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk Team Page for Wilmington:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thank You Wobbler Supporters!

A big shout-out to everyone who supported the Wheeler's Wobblers' MS Walk Team fundraisers at Ruby Tuesday. Between the Main Street MS Support Group moving its monthly meeting there last week, to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark (UUFN) takeover on St. Patrick's Day, and the Adam's Run neighborhood subdued family night tonight, a lot of personal connections were made. 

Because every connection counts, that's why we do this. 
UUFN Takeover of Ruby Tuesday

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Different Way to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

One of the legends of St. Patrick is that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.  To celebrate St. Patrick's day, then, let's work to drive out Multiple Sclerosis from our lifetime!  

As you know, I'm raising money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through my MS Walk Team, Wheeler's Wobblers. The NMSS supports research to stop and repair damage caused by MS as well as providing services to people struggling with MS.  

Will you support the cause in honor of St. Patrick's Day?  To make a tax-deductible contribution, go to my walk page at

Here's a modified Irish Blessing for you:

May the road rise to meet you, (BUT not because you've fallen)
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face, (BUT not too hot)
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again, (BUT not in the emergency room)

May God hold you in the palm of Her hand.

Slainte! (means "Good Health" btw)

Follow the Wheeler's Wobblers on Facebook at:

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Challenge From Wheeler's Wobblers

Hello readers of A Short in the Cord,

If you follow my MS Walk Team, Wheeler's Wobblers, on Facebook, you already know that I've issued a challenge for Saturday, March 14th: 

On Saturday (3-14-15), let's get 3.14 people to join the team for Wilmington (Delaware) MS Walk coming up on April 11.

OR let's get 314 people to make a donation ($3.14, $31.41, $314, $3,141, or any other number of choice). Rounding UP is acceptable.

Let's see if we can get $314 in donations on Saturday. Can you join in the challenge?

Happy Pi Day! Wobble on...

To join or donate, go to:

PS - I don't remember where I got this graphic, so if you know the source please help me to give credit.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Get Ready to Wobble!

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month.  

You know what that means, right? It's time to wake up the Wheeler's Wobblers MS Walk team and get ready to wobble!

From your interactions with me or others with MS, you are already aware of the debilitating effects of this disease, including blindness, debilitating fatigue, muscle weakness, cognitive impairments, numbness, tingling, and muscle spasms.  And those are just the symptoms I have experienced.  There are many more.

There is still no cure, but medications to slow the progress have seen a marked improvement in the last few years.  Currently, I am benefiting from one of the newer medications and am now able to walk without a cane or walker, and am able to stand long enough to carry on a conversation with you.

Not everyone has been so lucky, so I’m continuing to raise money for research and for programs to help others who live with this unpredictable disease. My walk team, the Wheeler’s Wobblers, will again participate in two of the Delaware MS fundraising walks in Wilmington (Saturday April 11, Riverfront) and Newark (Sunday May 3, Buffalo Wild Wings).

Will you join us? If you can’t walk 3 miles (I can't), then join me at the finish lines to cheer.  We ask that you raise a minimum of $25. There are prizes for higher fundraisers, of course.  If you can’t join the team, then consider a tax-deductible donation to show your support.  And if you’ve already joined or donated, I do thank you for your generosity.

Regardless, remember our team motto: “Wheelers wobble but we don’t fall down thanks to your support!”

To join or donate via credit card, go to one of these walk sites:

Thank you!  Joan Wheeler