By Grace Maselli
He’s back and he’s headed north to Stowe, VT. The legendary Godzilla monster has been reimagined in 5′ 2″ of medical fiberglass casting bandages (and covered in an arty cocktail of materials: paper “clay” made of bamboo toilet paper, good old-fashioned white glue, and some dry wall compound) concocted by artist and TBT member, Delphine Geraci. “I’m also a bariatric nurse, so that’s what I could think of to make him extra strong,” says the ingenious road warrior.
Delphine took some of her inspiration from a paper clay art class offered through TBT partner organization, the Life Enrichment Center.
Bringing the mythic giant to life—complete with Mom tattoo and intimidating teeth—has been a Geraci family affair involving Delphine’s husband, Dean, and 13-year-old daughter, Stella. “We bought a little trailer and Dean built it up to exactly fit the 5’2″ Godzilla,” she says. Stella is on the road with Delphine as they wend their way toward New England, 1,200 miles north of Tampa to Stowe; it’s here where Godzilla will take up residence at Delphine’s friend’s bar and restaurant—or what Delphine describes as a big après ski hangout and sushi bar called The Matterhorn, otherwise known as Stowe’s world famous party spot voted #1 après ski joint in North America by USA Today readers. (Of course, there’s a certain poetic symmetry here. Godzilla as radioactive pop culture icon invented by Japanese filmmakers and known the world over AND beloved sushi—traditional Japanese haute cuisine made with rice, seaweed, raw seafood, and veggies.)
“I thought a giant Godzilla holding the Stowe ski gondola would be appropriate,” Delphine says.
We’re starting a TBT book group with a focus on art in all its forms! The inaugural read: On Photography by Susan Sontag first published in 1973 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The group is open to our sister (and bro) timebanks and the community. Of course, to be Covid-compliant, we’re convening by Zoom. Here’s how it’s rolling:
- First Zoom gathering is Monday, December 7, 2020 at 7 PM;
- We’ll meet every two weeks to nosh on the text and partake of participants’ thoughts and dialogue;
- (Because the next two-week interval lands during Xmas week, we’ll step out of the two-week rhythm just until the New Year and start again on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7 PM);
- Those interested should contact me at email@example.com or 215.834.4567 so I can collect names and email addresses to send a Zoom link the day before each meeting time…
- Group members will pitch ideas for the next book and we’ll take an informal vote on what to read next!
By Grace Maselli
You’ve heard of it, right? Fun fun fun. To say the least, COVID’s put a kink in the pleasantries we took for granted—in the freedom to move around, pre-quarantine. All the more reason why the vital reminder to rip the Band-Aid off ho-hum and jump into some safe boisterousness, or amusements you’re personally stimulated and refreshed by, is so more important. We have Maureen Murphy, Executive Director of Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center, to thank for a stellar Zoom talk to about 25 people during August’s Third Tuesday of the Month event on August 18.
Maureen’s exhaustive and inspiring presentation on the benefits of fun even in the context of lockdown stirred participants to share what they do to let their coiffs out of the hair net—get into “flow” where time effortlessly slips away— as it motivated others to amp up fun time and creativity in their daily lives. Maureen talked in depth about the psychological and physical health that fun can mean for the psyche and the body. With pure enthusiasm she delighted us with factoids and substance: Fun reduces stress. It helps people cope better with stress. It trips the seratonin switch, a good brain chemical. It boosts energy and memory and concentration. And when you make fun a habit, it’s relaxing, it pumps up positive feelings, it helps you sleep better, and it improves the relationships you care about. Whao!
The sky can still be the limit if you turn that box upside down and see things from a new angle! Here are some ideas:
- Dress up your dog and snap some pix for fun…
- Do cartwheels in your backyard
- Go to the beach on a Wednesday when there are fewer people
- Make art with LEC
- Get creative with cooking
- Do 20 jumping jacks in your living room
- Take the St. Pete’s Mural Walking Tour
- Blow bubbles lakeside
- Cut up some magazines and make a collage to tell a soul story
- Join The Rumpus Book Club
- Jump into The Sofa King Music Fest
- Check out BroadwayHD shows for less than the cost of a standard Netflix subscription
- Explore new podcasts that make you happy and inspired
By Grace Maselli
Got uncertainty? Get some glue in the form of social adhesive. No argument that making life big and colorful and filled with art of all kinds requires more creativity in the days of COVID-19. Take member Robert McGinnis’s ingenious approach and arrangement of a mix of paid services and Tampa Bay Timebank resources—our characteristic offers and requests exchange model in action—to celebrate his lovely wife Debbie’s locked-down birthday. Robert hired violinist LaRon Hearst (classic and electric) accompanied by the violinist’s wife Angel’s (angelic!) singing voice. “He played an hour on our deck for the alligator and all of the neighbors on the other side of the pond,” Robert says, adding how groovy it would be, “to get musicians to show up at every members’ house to cheer them up with a song.”
Robert also commissioned some art from brilliant artist/educator/member Qinghong Wei to support the arts and honor the day. This includes a watercolor of a double rainbow taken by Qinghong, auspicious given its powerful symbolism for Robert and Debbie: “On our first real date there was a torrential downpour that broke with a double rainbow,” he says. Way to make it romantic and real and keep it safe, Robert!
For any of you reading, here’s a rolling echo from the TBT Leadership Team—reach out and touch someone by phone. Get on the TBT website and call a fellow member; check in, see how folks are doing. Spread the glue.
Speaking of social stickiness (think: reach out and touch someone in the metaphorical sense and by cell phone), here’s a local Community Resource and Referral Guide that may be of use to readers or someone you know who might benefit.
Assets: Everyone is an asset. We all have something to give.
Redefining Work: We redefine work to value whatever it takes to raise healthy children, build strong families, care for elders, revitalize neighborhoods, make democracy work, advance social justice, and make the planet sustainable.
Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
Community: We need each other; networks are stronger than individuals. When people help each other, they reweave communities of support, strength, and trust.
Respect: Every human being matters. Respect for all means accountability to all.
Here here. Everyone matters.
By Grace Maselli
Meet Mary. She’s an “Infection Preventionist” RN at Tampa General Hospital. See her mask? This was donated to her and some of her Infection Preventionist friends through the network of Florida Timebanks and its literal grassroots mobilization. Why? To assist healthcare workers not only in our immediate area, but other places. Take New York, for instance. Once again, Ground Zero for a crisis.
As of this writing, anti-coronavirus queen and TBT member Delphine Geraci has sewn 610 masks—with another 45 in line for completion today. Upwards of 75 of the beauties will be sent to a Brooklyn healthcare center described as a “war zone” by a hard-working physician there.
Delphine’s gotten some help from timebank elves across the region, not to mention timebankers’ neighbors, and the faith-based community. Our “runners” are buying and donating elastic bands and washed-and-cut fabric, bringing them to the drop-off table at Delphine’s house (and any other willing sewer who’s ready to come forward with her or his spools of thread!)
Staving Off Airborne Particles
The masks are intended to extend the lifespan of N95s, aka, “respirators and surgical masks (face masks) that are examples of personal protective equipment used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face.” In other words, a calculated barrier against Covid-19. No doubt you’ve heard that N95s are in short supply, with medical staff using them longer than they otherwise would. Supplemental timebank masks are designed to help lengthen the lives not only of N95s, but strengthen their precious and courageous wearers.
Llamas, Mustaches, and “PUL”
The timebank team’s fabric cutters, elastic gatherers, drivers, and sewers are using “The Turban Project” face mask pattern, though there are others among us also using a larger pattern. If you’re in the mood to explore, there’s lots to know and download from this site. Our fabrics are covered in llamas, polka dots, Haight-Ashbury tie dye, Star Wars memorabilia, and mustaches. Delphine, a Bariatric RN, is also making some out of “PUL,” or what’s described as a “disposable, breathable, and waterproof fabric, specially treated so that it is not harmful to the skin, both in adults and babies. PUL has a great variety of utilities and uses, such as the making of disposable masks and other sanitary covers.” According to Delphine, “PUL gives better protection when worn alone. Cotton is best when worn over an existing mask.”
In the meantime, we’ll keep on the move, aiming to help by being part of the larger community effort—part of the whole, as long as we’re able.
It’s true what they say: it takes an (underground) village to grow a heart to 50 times its normal size; this writer has never been more proud to be a member of a community that’s got one big enough to go around.
For donations of breathable cotton fabric and related supplies, contact Rita at 608.335.2382.
By Grace Maselli
The Tampa Bay Timebank Leadership Team has been as busy as 80,000 honey bees in a colony. No kidding. They’ve been envisioning, planning, writing, and doing—all along the way sweetening the connections between and among our 549 members. This includes a focus on areas of expansion.
This unfolding expansion, dear member, is where you can earn TBT hours for your activities—and exchanges—with fellow members by moving as the bees do: productively (and “in the context of ‘electric fields’!” It’s all true!).
Our all-volunteer org means no paid staff or central office. No Gal Friday. What we do have: several coordinators managing the website and handling organizational planning. All other activity is generated by you, valued member, for members. And because we charge no fees, TBT relies on volunteer energy and donations whenever materials or cash are inevitably required.
What follows are some significant areas of interest that TBT would like to expand to meet organizational need. Some categories are only bubbling ideas at the present moment—or, significantly, they’re being handled by just one person.
So here’s the thing, if you’d like to get involved, don’t hesitate. Be like the bee and getta move on with another person or small group. Jump into something that maps to your passion or skills or both. We’re all ears and also open to hearing suggestions that may not be on this list. So please let us know what strikes your fancy and we’ll attempt to make it happen.
In the mean time, take a look through our Action Groups list and each category’s quick description to see what you think. To get things rolling or ask questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Administration Action Group
Handles administrative necessities including paperwork and phone calls.
- Community and Group Projects Action Group
Engages in community service.
• Co-Production Action Group
Helps other organizations with their projects.
• Education Action Group
Either attends or offers educational workshops.
- Emergency Services Action Group
Volunteers to help in an emergency. Those with medical credentials can use them. Others may offer transportation, phone contacts, or general support. We’d like people to join in various geo areas so we always have people nearby to call.
- Entertainment Action Group
Selects fun things to do for members and schedules open social events. It is a good way to get to know other members before making exchanges.
- Events Action Group
Puts on events around the area, such as Gathering with a Purpose and Introductory events. Support staff is always needed.
- Field Trips and Travel Group
Plans trips and tours around town.
- Marketing Group
Handles TBT marketing and advertising.
- Membership Action Group
Keeps in regular contact with members.
- Monthly Program Gatherings Action Group
Designs monthly programs held at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center. Support is always helpful. Participants arrange speakers, food, transportation, and communications.
- Orientation Group
A trained group of people to help new members get acquainted with the website and members.
- Social Adventures Action Group
Selects fun things to do for members and schedules open social events and tours, for example. It is a good way to get to know other members before making exchanges.
- Social Justice Action Group
Involvement in specific social justice action-oriented projects.
- Social Media Group
Manages the Facebook group and other social media activities and announcements.
- Speakers Group
Makes presentations to various organizations about timebanking.
- Spiritual Study Group
People interested in metaphysics and spirituality who attend various local study groups and events.
- Technology Group
Helps with all the TBT technical requirements, including computer repair, setting up equipment for events, finding necessary equipment and connections for various media purposes, providing software assistance, photography, film-making, and more.
- Trainers Action Group
Trained trainers who carry out various programs such as formal orientations, introductory workshops, Gathering with a Purpose workshops etc.
- Transportation Group
Helps people who cannot drive to attend TBT events and sometimes arranges for personal travel needs.
- Welcome New Members Action Group
As the name implies, members of this group welcome new members via phone calls and small get-togethers to help new members become oriented and connected with existing members. Group members also help to facilitate new exchanges.
Readers can also support our Florida timebanks by donating equipment and supplies and cash for needed items. Among our ongoing requirements: supplies for potlucks and events, (think, paper plates, utensils, napkins, paper towels, pens, paper, name tags, office supplies, color printing, and bottled water). You get the idea! If you have things lying around that you don’t need and that you think TBT could use, please let us know by contacting email@example.com. We’re eternally grateful!
By Grace Maselli
Ho ho ho’s, Festivals of Light, and Kwanzaa—Swahili for the “first” harvest’s premier fruits. At TBT, our hearts are open to all holiday traditions in their myriad and distinctive forms. To honor variety and community connection, please join us for this year’s Third Tuesday festive December gathering where we’ll come together to share food and make ornaments of all persuasions. Bring your favorite holiday dish to share—from pecan crusted green bean casseroles to turkey pot pies and everything in between—and toss any art supplies you’re comfortable gluing, taping, whittling, or whatnot in a bag and head to Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center. That’s where we’ll hang out, make stuff, and eat. And per our own time-honored tradition, we’ll expend some valuable energy talking about timebanking and the beauty of exchanges to enrich life across our subtropical landscapes. Make it merry, make it light, bring your friends and neighbors to celebrate and be bright with TBT!
|Date||Tuesday, December 17, 2019|
|Address||Life Enrichment Center
9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
|Questions?||Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (215) 834-4567 and reference our 2019 Holiday potluck at LEC|
By Grace Maselli
Wanna joint TBT in supporting the local Tampa community? No better way than to bring it on down to “Celebrate 40 years of peace, love, and music on 88.5 FM” and let art and music rule the night on Saturday, November 9. Here’s what the WMNF Community Conscious Radio and Living Mirror Playback Theater have to say about it all:
“In 1979, WMNF took to the airwaves after volunteers knocked on doors seeking support and talking with people about the dream of a unique radio station: A community radio station featuring music and public affairs not offered on mainstream radio. Forty years later, that dream is still a reality. We’ve made many friends along the way and have a lot of stories to share. We will celebrate the stories of those dreamers and all the friends they have made over the past 40 years with the help of Tampa’s own Living Mirror Playback Theater.” One of our very own longstanding TBT members and high-velocity community activists Christina Bellamy is an improvisational theater performer with Playback, a troupe that travels the Tampa Bay area engaging audiences in impromptu storytelling directly from participants’ lives, with audience members watching Playback enact quick tales on the spot.”
Saturday, November 9, 2019
|Where:||Tampa Friends Meeting House
1502 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, Fl 33604
|Cost:||$10 advance, $15 day of show requested donation|
|RSVP:||813-238-8001 and talk to Miss Julie to reserve your seat; space is limited|
TBT is growing in leaps and bounds. This includes sewing class at member Delphine Geraci’s Lutz home, where the creativity lives large among Delphine’s five sewing machines. But Delphine doesn’t just generously open her home to stitching and fabric-minded members and friends. (And their groovy threads, scissors, and such) piled alongside fertile imaginations. Delphine teaches too. Patiently. Abundantly. To spread good vibes applied to the centuries-old art form.
With her own deep history of stitchery, member Carol Godwin also guides learners alongside Delphine as an integral part of the sewing scene. A scene where fired-up sewers make everything from reversible handbags to elegant tunics. Where they close the seams on pants and shirts. Mending and tailoring and yucking it up with some laughs. Making it sew real.
Contact TBT Coordinator Rita at 608.335.2382 for more info. And get the skinny on a broader perspective at the National Women’s History Museum and its, “Fashioning Yourself! A Story of Home Sewing”. Join the fun and get your garments going with TBT: All are welcome! Check out the sewing machine documentary, too.
By Grace Maselli
Howdy. Some time’s passed since this blogger shimmied on over to WordPress for a post. (Chalk it up to the day job, out-of-state travel, and kid stuff that leapfrogged to the front of the Must Do line.) Excuses aside, I’m pumped to be here and report that the Tuesday, June 18 jewelry get-together—our Third Tuesday of Every Month member-and-guest meeting and orientation—was a whole strand full of bauble-y fun! We had our way with swapped and shared jewelry. We woman (and man-) handled it all: Chunky necklaces and delicate charms. Pipe cleaners and copper wire. We took stuff apart and rearranged it. We glue-gunned and fastened. Considered and chatted, as we noshed on food. We let our imaginations run wild.
All at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center (LEC). Our Third Tuesdays home and part of TBT’s revitalization initiative to dispatch our efforts further into the community.
And, with tech support from member Karen Lowman, our TBT Coordinator Rita Cobbs demoed the new volunteer-created Florida-wide timebanks website. The new site is a trove of information from core values to the nitty gritty of how to sign up and get involved in timebanking. Building the new website was a labor of love with some elbow grease tossed in for good measure. The result is a timebank jewel that guides members and visitors to vital content.
Yuppers. Last month LEC was abuzz in bangles and glass beads, in trinkets and treasures, and super useful information about our growing Florida-based timebank movement.
Get ready for next month’s Third Tuesday event. Come and learn more about timebank exchanges galore. Share what you love to do while you make friends and build community.
Gearing Up for Third Tuesdays July Shindig, Too!
|Date||Tuesday, July 16, 2019|
|Address||LEC: 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241|
|Questions?||Contact email@example.com or call 608.335.2382|