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A Week in (mostly) Grayscale

Published October 29, 2017 by Jill
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This guy rocked out last weekend. He is just in his element playing guiter. Great gig. Excited that his hard work has played off and that there are so many upcoming shows.

ben singing

Finally our fear of hiking has worn off. Enough time has past the the stronhold of the ticks is over! So, we enjoyed hiking this week in Stow. Loved that warm weather. Alice was delighted with this tiny frog she found.

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And, boom! Leave you off with some full color of this magestic site. “Wild & Crazy” day at co-op. We were in our element.



Published October 1, 2017 by Jill
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I discovered REFIT this summer and found a form of fitness that was FUN and that I wanted to do…not something that felt like a chore or was laden with guilt. The choreography is so much fun that you won’t realize what a great workout you are getting! :)

I know that many other women feel similarly about fitness and have trouble finding a form of fitness that works for them. There is often guilt, depression and health issues tied in with this. This is one reason that I have wanted to share REFIT with women like you! You are worth the workout!

If you are in the greater Acton, MA area…Bolton, Stow, Boxborough, Hudson, Harvard ….come try a class out! I don’t show up on the REFIT website website becuase I didn’t pay the extra, but I certainly do have classes!! There aresn’t very many in Massachusetts… REFIT was founded in Texas and it has taken a bit of time to travel up north. But, such a great program! Classes are at Ginas Studio in Boxborough on Wednesday mornings and sometimes other days during the week. Classes are also at Trinity Church in Bolton, alternate Wednesday nights. And, upcoming classes are being scheduled for Grace Baptist in Hudson!

Most of my up-to-date info can be found on my FB page -- REFIT with jill Contact me for any more info! :)


What We Can Learn From Nazis

Published September 4, 2017 by Ben Holt
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With all the outrage going around lately with the news of protests and counter-protests, I thought I’d throw in my two cents. I think we can learn a lot from their presence in our country. Here’s some reasons why:

1) The absurdity of mainstream media

I’m not talking about any news outlet in particular. I don’t like any of them, and haven’t watched TV news in about 15 years. I think it’s funny how much this tiny group of people is/was covered, and I’m sure it makes them very happy. “Hey guys, we’re on TV!” Meanwhile, there are lots of other newsworthy things happening in the world.

It also seems like the news that IS reported about them is always sensationalistic -- the events and clips that will get the biggest response/outrage. We use words like “nationalist”, “fundamentalist”, “terrorist”, “supremacist”, “racist” without any clear definition or clarification about what these words mean. Sometimes words like this obfuscate the full truth, and news media is skilled at this.

2) Nazis show us our own depravity

Many people wonder how these groups can exist in our “enlightened” country. It’s really not surprising to me at all. Maybe we’re not as amazing as we thought. Given the conditions/culture in which people can grow up, and their family circumstances, maybe I’d be in the same boat. Maybe I’d be a Nazi too. Those who protest loudest that “they would NEVER…” lack a basic understanding of human nature. Nazis help us to remember that we are *all* succeptible to evil, pride, and prejudice.

Many folks’ reaction to these people is “I hate them and I want to punch them.” I find it so ironic that people justify hatred and violence because the people they hate also hate. In other words, those I see preaching tolerance/love/respect loudest are sometimes the least likely to extend those things to those with whom they disagree. When we react in such a way, we show just how depraved we really are.

“A cat will look down to a man. A dog will look up to a man. But a pig will look you straight in the eye and see his equal.” -Winston Churchill

3) Nazis remind us of our commitment to free speech

Nothing tests our country’s values like people we strongly disagree with. Do we try and shut them down because we disagree, or do we defend *their* rights as citizens too? The right to be heard, to peacefully protest flaws in government (we can all agree there are many) is something we need to be vigilant to defend.

4) Nazis force us into moral dialog

Is our worldview really superior to Nazis? Our morals inherently better? About everything? How do you know? It’s my hope that groups like this force us into a better understanding of morality in the attempt to separate ourselves from those ideals.

Why is it wrong to be racist, for instance? “It’s just bad” isn’t a very good answer. Racists (hopefully) force us into honing our defintions of “good” and the source of it.

Hopefully, Nazis get us beyond our ignorant, self-centric morality. Sometimes it’s the greatest evil that forces us to look to the greatest Good.

The A’s of August

Published August 17, 2017 by Jill

Aaaaaaaugust, sweet August. I had a list for you! A summer bucket list! Places to go, people to see…but you had different plans for me.

I went to bed one Wednesday night with a massive headache and fever. Slept all the next day. Headache, fever, fatigue, body aches. But, Friday morning I woke up feeling somewhat better with a lower fever and I declared, “the show must go on!” For months I had planned to get to Pennsylvania that weekend for a training, so my friend and I packed up the car and traveled south! My symptoms still remained, but self-medicating seemed fine. We got to PA in 7 hours. Got some glimpses of Amish country. Very beautiful. I can now understand my husbands love affair with Pennsylvania. He has always tried to describe for me the horizon of farms and cornfields. Indeed, I saw lots of corn!


I attended some of my event on Friday night but cut out early in favor of sleep. Good nights sleep… but spiked my highest fever yet of 102.6. Woke up soaking from night sweats and thought the fever broke and I really felt like taking on the world! I took on the world for a few hours. Then, just before lunch got terrible chills and nausea. Voted on a trip to the Urgent Care, but they weren’t digging my insurance. Since the next day was our departure for home I just decided to hang in there and get home!

We took off early Sunday morning and I got several hours of good driving in. However, the nausea, fatigue, fever, headache were all still hanging on. When I noticed my decrease in urination combined with the deep color of my urine I was finally convinced that I needed help at the ER. Ben met me in our driveway and I didn’t even go into the house at all. We took straight off to Emerson Hospital. Blessed to have a quiet ER with no wait. I was seen quickly and got my veins poked around with. After a few hours they told me that I had classic symptoms of Anaplasmosis. I was familiar with this tick-borne illness as Alice had battled it in the spring. However, they also told me that my white blood cell level was very low and for that reason they would admit me overnight. I started some doxycycline, and they brought me a turkey sandwich on wonder bread around 9pm and to me that tasted like a luxury gourmet delight!

The nurses and techs of Wheeler 4 at Emerson hospital were all wonderful, so was my craftmatic II adjustable bed. And getting to order a tuna melt at 8:00 in the morning, as well as all other meals, was also a delight. I had Dr. Paparello investigating my symptoms and checking things out. I was in very good hands. And I was so encouraged by all the online messages, friends and family visiting, the calls and for the assurance of prayers. Here’s where I camped out.


And lest me not forget to mention the fantastic Mr. Ben Holt, who held up for fort at home, caring for Alice, making food, visiting me, etc. If you were someone hoping to get regular updates on my health and were miffed that you did not, please make room for grace. When your spouse is hospitalized and you have a child to care for, it is somewhat a survival mode and making calls and updates to each person who wants details… and then add in that whole introvert thing…it just can’t always happen. Please understand. Ben and Alice were the pot of gold during my sickness, seeing them together, hearing all the things they accomplished or did with their time together. And, they visited me with ukelele and harmonica in-hand and brought some cheerfulness to my dark little corner room.


My sisters and my Mom and Dad were also a blessing with taking Alice at times, delivering yummies to our fridge, calling, etc. Thank you friends who brought meals and send cards, they were most welcome. I enjoyed Mac the therapy Dog and Volunteer Tom who came to sing and play his uke… a sweet little ” Oh jill…on the sweet by and by” song. That was cheerful. :)

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And so, four days of sleep, hydration, potassium, antibiotics, blood tests, food, goodies dripping in my veins, therapy dogs visiting, clergy reading me scripture, and just a *little bit* of Family Feud seemed to help me replenish my white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet count enough to get me home on Thursday. From here I am waiting for lightheadedness to pass so I can move on to other things.

For there are other things I want to get to! The other “A” of August was….Accomplishments! I got certified as a REFIT instructor! That is the reason I was in PA, that was the training I was part of. In between headaches and chills… I was actually training for a fitness program, ha! REFIT is an awesome fitness experience that I first found online and fell in love with. I got to attend a training with the founders and glean lots of great info from them. Please come check out a class!! I will be teaching at Ginas Studio in Boxborough beginning in a few weeks and am so, so excited. Music, movement, fun, community… Please come check out a class if you are local! :)


love to all!

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