Category Archives: Community

OPERATION PRODUCE ONE THING YOU CONSUME!


We’ve heard that  Nisti K Delgroothe is up to more than writing a memoir! Oh boy! What is Nisti K up to?

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Greetings!

I have started a challenge that has grown faster than the subject of the challenge!

Operation Produce what you consume!

How does this work?

If you already started a garden YOU can be in the challenge!

If you are willing to plant ONE thing you  consume–fruit, vegetable, herb–YOU can join the challenge!

If you are willing to plant ONE fruit or vegetable even in a container (clay pot, milk jug, or barrel, etc) YOU can join the challenge!

Will YOU?

I see someone shaking their head! I hear someone saying they don’t  think they can do it?  Well, you won’t know until you try! Just select one item, maybe a favorite fruit or vegetable, and give it a try!

Do you need encouragement?

Let’s see if this helps >>>The picture compilation above shows the fruit and vegetables I harvested in my garden last year!

I don’t have much experience!  I did it! And I believe YOU can too (if you want to)!

Is there a sunny window in your house, condo or apartment?

Do you have a sunny area in your yard?

( One person who accepted the challenge is growing their vegetable at a relative’s house since a sunny spot for their container plant is a challenge at her apartment!)

Container garden? Yes!

Tomatoes and other vegetables can be grown in a container!

Again, the challenge is simple: produce ONE FRUIT, VEGETABLE, OR HERB you consume!

Stay tuned to the progress at: http://www.facebook.com/NistiKNews

Thanks for tuning in!

Happy planting!

~Nisti K Delgroothe

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A Perfect “Lousy” Gift!


Imagine this:

YOU GET an unexpected gift.

** What do you do? What do you say?

** Do you value it? Do you think little of it because it cost YOU nothing?

**What if you like it? What if you don’t like it?

**What if you don’t want it? What if you treasure it?

**What if you aren’t ready for it? What if you are ready for it and you know it is something others have been praying for?

**Does the gift, any gift, make you feel loved (it is your love language)? What if gifts don’t mean much to you?

But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT. How do you react, and what do you say and do?

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YOU GIVE an expected or unexpected gift.

**You stretch out your hands and place your gift in the receiver’s hands and they don’t even say, “Thank you.”

** You give a gift and the person thanks you and tell you how much they appreciate it!

**You give someone a gift and the person walks away from it as if it is nothing.

**You give someone a gift and you see it is not cared for. It is misused, broken, or never used or appreciated.

**You give a gift and the light in the person’s eyes makes your sacrifice of time, money, and resources worth it and more!

**You give a gift and learn it is given away to someone else.

But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE GIVEN A GIFT.  Do you give a gift with expectations, or do you give expecting nothing, not even expecting a “Thank you” in return?

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I have been told I am a great giver. I don’t know about great, but that is what I have been told. All I do is reflect on the person or family and think about what is important to them– hopes, dreams, challenges, needs, what they have said, and what has made their eyes sparkle. I can’t say I give the correct gift 100% of the time because it is a process of learning the gift recipient and I am sure someone could rise and say I got it wrong. But, the feedback is that I get it right, many times.

Through it all, I’ve also learned NOT to give a gift ( a tangible, wrapped gift).

Once, it was on my heart to extend a token of appreciation to a group. It was a big group! And, I was broke! People didn’t know my financial state and I didn’t care to explain it or use it as excuse not to extend something to them. I was determined to find something to let them know I was thinking about them.

I do believe gifts should cost us something, but I do not believe it is necessary or wise to go into deep debt every time we give a gift. My situation at the time was that I was stretched to the limit! Beyond limit! So I searched for options and found something that was cute and useful– a little box that could hold trinkets or personal items for one’s desk or home! Perfect!

I was delighted as I passed out the little boxes and said, “It is just a little something….”  For some of us, giving a gift feels like dishing out love! And this proved the perfect balance for me—take care of my personal obligations (bills and food) and express appreciation for others! Perfect balance! Perfect gift!

Or, so I thought, until…

I overheard someone belittle what I had given. And the boastful and proud pronouncement of their distaste with my selection and effort caught me off guard. My feelings hurt briefly until I realized I had given my best. And then I thought…

WHO DOES THAT?

WHO HAS THAT KIND OF HEART?  

WHO WOULD DARE SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT A GIFT—AN EXTENSION OF SOMEONE’S TIME, MONEY, RESOURCES, AND THOUGHTS FOR ANOTHER?

The answer came to me.

We all do.

God gives us gifts each day. And we forget to say, “Thank you!”

We give gifts to each other and sometimes they aren’t seen as gifts, or seen as gifts and are not appreciated or liked or wanted.

The truth is: A gift is someone stopping for a moment or moments in the course of their life to extend something to YOU! No matter whether you like it or not! Think of kindness; it is a most beautiful gift! Don’t we all hope for more of that?!

How we receive gifts, and how we give gifts tells people about us– our thoughtfulness, thankfulness, expectations, and more!  And how we give gifts and receive gifts affects our RELATIONSHIPS!

How did you feel about the relationship with someone when they did not say thank you for a gift you sacrificed your time, money, or resources to give them? There are many more examples of how gifts affect relationships. I’m sure you can name a few!

BUT LET US FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO?

IF YOU WANT TO GIVE A GOOD GIFT: Take note of what people say in everyday conversation, or ASK your loved ones and friends what they want and what makes them feel loved and appreciated. That is how you give a good gift to them.

IF YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT WHAT A GOOD GIFT IS TO YOU: When they ask what you want, or when there is a convenient time, TELL the people in your life what you want and what makes you feel love and appreciated. That helps them give a good gift to you. (We have to remember finances when we communicate wants!)

Let’s cease the hope of good mind readers in our life and simply communicate with spoken words!

Gifts are NOT guaranteed.  It is wise to be thankful for them! We HOPE our gifts are received with thankful hearts, but ask God about that. Soon many will celebrate the greatest gift to mankind, and many still reject him—the Savior of the world, born as a child, Jesus Christ.

With the year winding down, I have written this as a gift from me to you!

The gift I want and hope for you is a little more, of a little “big” thing, called love! ~Nisti K

Love is eternal poster

After Indianapolis’ Trayvon Martin Rally for Justice–‘I’d rally in the rain’ could be heard.


In locations around the USA, people held vigils or rallied with calls for justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African American Florida teenager.

Even after Indianapolis organizers ended the rally due to heavy rain, people endured the rains to display their commitment to seeing justice served.

A woman is overheard saying, ‘A man disregards the police, shoots and kills a child he followed, and goes free claiming self defense. Where is the justice in that?’

A sign suggests mothers want “Gun Sense.”

A man states the Stand Your Ground Statute, the Florida statute used to defend George Zimmerman, needs to be eliminated.

And a teenager around Trayvon Martin’s age says, ‘….if George Zimmerman isn’t held accountable for Trayvon Martin’s death, nothing will be right after that’.

It continued to rain, and protesters continued to stand. Some late arriving protesters questioned, ‘Why did it end [the rally]? I just saw other people who were trying to make their way here.’

‘I’d rally in the rain,’ said the woman standing under the tree for shelter.

‘Me too,’ said another.

It is reported by police that several hundred protesters attended the rally. There were no incidents, just calls for justice.

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The Matter of Doubt–State of Florida vs. Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin’s death.


Last night I sat, unable to think about sleep, wondering what God will do in this matter, grieving over a young life senslessly ended by a grown man’s dreadful choice, and remembering my mother’s words to me long ago in my younger days,’Baby, sometimes life is not  fair’.

And today, life seems so unfair because of doubt. Doubt.

I remember when my hands were tied as a juror because of doubt. Everything pointed toward the guy’s guilt, but there was one thread of evidence left empty.  One thread that would have tied it all together. My eyes scanned our juror’s governing document –a description of our role and responsibility–and it was ironclad. I did not doubt my obligation or what was left for me to do in this case. Doubt.  After the trial, the  jury foreman and I knew it was our duty to talk to the Prosecutor. If only she would have provided the security tape they had referred to, the tape they had seen, the tape they kept from all of us as evidence! If only we would have seen it too,…no doubt…no doubt…because we were on the edge of decision. There would have been no doubt.

‘Why didn’t you provide the security video?’ we asked the Prosecutor.

She shrugged.  We fumed. And as we walked to our cars in the wee hours of the morning, having been there all day and night, it seemed the most unjust act had just been witnessed–her shrug. Time wasted, money wasted, and our sense of justice and duty was greeted with a careless shrug. The guy walked. Doubt.

Doubt, a critical part of our justice system that is the bridge between being held accountable for one’s own behavior and walking away from a situation in which your bad, malicious, ill-timed, or unfortunate decision created a loss of some kind–the consequence.

Doubt.

George Zimmerman was active in his comunity’s crimewatch program. I do that.

George Zimmerman judged activity as being suspicious. I have done that.

George Zimmerman chose to pass character and behavior judgment on another human being unknown to him. Have any of us done that?  Excerpts from his call… (click here for the 911 call)

‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something,’ Zimmerman says.

(It was dark and raining, according to reports.)

‘These a*******  always get away’

A*******???

Doubt.

George Zimmerman chose to wear a gun.

George Zimmerman chose to call the police.

George Zimmerman chose to follow a ‘kid’ who was running in the rain on a dark night. An unknown kid, a neighbor, that he had already judged at least twice.

‘Are you following him?’

‘Yeah,’ Zimmerman admits.

‘We don’t need you to do that,’ the male police dispatcher said.

Doubt?

Was that George Zimmerman’s last opportunity to make the choice to return to his car? Was  it  Trayvon Martin’s last chance to continue his run to his home which was located near the shooting?

Doubt?

And there were two unaccounted minutes, known only to George Zimmerrman and God.

Doubt!

A teenaged child made decisions. A grown man made decisions. The child, Trayvon Martin, now rests in a grave. May his parents and loved ones be comforted and may he rest in peace.

Doubt.

Doubt is created when the heart and mind of an individual is unable to TOTALLY trust what is before them. Personal experiences and knowledge–true or false– filter information. Fear , suspicion, trust and mistrust are factors. (Read any definition of doubt.) In a court of law, reasonable doubt is created when moral certainty is lacking. Certainty and doubt–individual and personal conclusions which can waver and vary– are a part of our justice system. A big part.

Note to the wise: Remind yourself of choices and consequences. Teach your children about  choices and consequences. Have a discussion about the significance of doubt–in life and in our court system. 

In court, doubt doesn’t always result in freedom. Sometimes innocence is doubted. Google “Innocent man freed” and see if you agree. Where was doubt for them? Misplaced.

It is with the heart and mind that we doubt; it is with heart and mind that we judge; and it is with heart and mind that we interact with one another. And, it is my hope and prayer that those who read these words, and those grieve for justice in the death of this child will with heart and mind realize that true justice reigns in hands much greater than our own–the hands of a Sovereign and Mighty God.

I believe in God through faith, and further believe without doubt that God and Christ Jesus know our hearts, where we must grow and how and what we must turn from to be more just toward one another. THIS is OUR accountability–our own hearts and minds. We start the course of more just treatment toward one another by remembering our OWN accountability and then, perhaps, we will see the EXACT POINT at which we should stand to seek  and demand justice for another.

In that, I believe without doubt.

The skies on 7/13/13.
The skies on 7/13/13.

Yesterday, long before the verdict, the rays of the sun drew my attention. Today, the image reminds me to keep my eyes to the heavens when things don’t seem fair or just. God’s glory is there, and just as he changes the details of the day to day skies, He is at work in our life and world, bringing truth, justice, and love. The sun’s rays returned me to the Scripture about the heavens (Psalm 19:1), and the subsequent verses of  Psalm 19  reminded me that justice begins in me.

Past.Rubble.Future–Residents gather at Indianapolis’ Keystone Towers’ grounds.


Yesterday, I sat on my deck but I couldn’t focus on my assignment (quantitative analysis). It was due to the tapping that I heard– metal. Are they preparing for “her” last day? I wondered. The sound went away, but my focus drifted across the creek.

They planned to bring her down at 8:00am on Sunday.  I was scheduled to be somewhere else and share my Haiti experience with others. And I did.

I didn’t rush to her side; I knew I would see her soon enough. After lunch and errands, I picked up my dog and we went for a ride. Filled with anticipation, I turned the corner. A gasp rushed past my lips.  She didn’t look like I had expected.

Keystone Towers elevator shaft 8282011
The massive Towers were imploded and all that remained was an elevator shaft.

 Others drove by and marveled, too.  Her elevator shaft still stood, and the memories of her better days flooded my mind. I had taken that elevator up to the penthouse floor when the doorman let me in to make a delivery to a family friend.  It seemed luxurious–beautiful furniture centered in the common area, and a breath-taking view of the city. Doorman. Delivery. Family friend. Breath taking views. That was then.

An Allisonville Road resident, Steve, stood near the demolition border by me. He commented on my dog’s striking looks and then we shared memories of the Towers.  Steve agreed that Lindner’s Ice Cream was across the street and then he paused and remembered that they had  ‘great ice cream!’  They did.  

Another visitor to the demolition site.

We then recalled that Keystone Towers was a micro-city on its own– you parked your car at home, walked down the hall and got groceries, and could even take care of  personal business.  Phone company offices were there. That’s where my sister worked and I parked in the shade of the upper level’s parking deck, secured for residents.   I vaguely remember a doctor or dentist being located there too.  I try to confirm the businesses with others, but their memory is scanty.  Some thought it was too grand. And, perhaps it was. But there were businesses. Jobs. Activity. Life.

Sunday, the gray dust under my feet and the piles of concrete–pieces and slabs– jolted my memory back two weeks to the heart wrenching site of Haiti’s earthquake rubble.  

Haiti's earthquake rubble, August 2011--eighteen months after the earthquake.

Port-Au-Prince leaves you wondering: where has all the restoration money gone? People wondered the same about the Towers.

Long ago, and after a tax sale, the promise of renovation waved on  banners from her roof top, yet more broken windows and debris were the only new things found. I will never forget the evening I drove by to check for progress (I live nearby) and saw engulfing darkness broken by a brightly shining light…on an upper floor. I squinted and stared. No, it wasn’t a reflection. How could only one light be on? Why was the only light way up there? Not a trail of lights anywhere, just that light, up there. My creative mind took over and the scene for a suspenseful mystery evolved.  I drove off, never forgetting  that bright light in the midst of darkness that swallowed those who dared to come.

There are news reports that say one of the former owners of the Keystone Towers was found guilty of mortgage fraud. When the Keystone Towers fell prey to hands and lips bent toward corruption, the flow of her demise never stopped, and her grand doors gapped, unsecure, to all the negativity we hear about in her past–a shooting, drug activity, and all manner of sin.

Yet, while by her side on Sunday, I met Steve and we talked about fond memories and ice cream, and there was the couple who introduced their dog to mine. And Monday, I met another man named Stephen, and his boys-Luca and Theo.

Luca, Theo and Stephen watch the demolition of the elevator shaft.

We swapped stories and I peered over Theo’s head as they showed me their video of the snatch down of the Towers’ elevator shaft. (Thanks again for letting me share this, Stephen! Theo, I agree with you. It was coooool! Luca, thanks for being concerned that I could see the video.)

Strangers talked and shared with one another.  Others drove by. People smiled. That was Monday.

And on Monday, we all agreed, the Tower’s  site is a place with great potential. It  is already bringing strangers together in good-natured ways. The negative past is falling like the dust she stirs as more of her falls.  As the Towers resist  forces meant to destroy,  a greater sense of community builds.

On this beautiful Tuesday morning,  it was fitting that the last I saw of her was a cloud of dust. 

 I turned to take a photo of  the surroundings, and voices of women walking on Fall Creek’s trail filled the air. A black man cast his bait into Fall Creek, while an Asian man leaned against the trail’s bridge and slowly looked around. A white man, dressed in yellow and black riding gear, pedaled across the creek’s bridge. Diversity.  Recreation. No fear.

Fall Creek Greenway, located across the way from the Keystone Towers demolition site.

One can only hope that the City of Indianapolis will keep their commitment and ask for development proposals, and give the community a voice into what can become of the grounds. If the City needs help gathering ideas, I stand ready. I have already enjoyed the charm of the Keystone Towers grounds.