GISH, Please!

This is a belated thank-you to the wacky, wonderful people who create and give back to the world and inspire me to do likewise. Thank you for being you!

* * * * *

I GISHed while my son was at camp, so there are fewer pictures including my boy child. I was a little sad about this, but I was entirely grateful to have the freedom being kidless provided.

We did manage one item before he left. It was from the KIDS MENU and was a lot harder than it sounded.

Item #173 Create a Lucky Charms bracelet. The cereal kind.


He also helped to paint the next item which was one of my favorites:

The big guy has a unique approach to painting–there was a lot of white stuff flying here so it was a good thing I moved this activity outside! My grass still has white stripes in places.

I am lured by the science fiction items that pop up on the GISH items lists. Then next one brought out my inner punk!

Steam Punk that is.

Item # 56 – 2021 has been fun, but we’re tired of being quarantined in this dimension and miss traveling the space-time continuum. Throw on your goggles and show us you, taking off in your state-of-the-art Victorian-era spacetime machine. It’s eco-friendly, so it runs on steam, punk.

This scamp loved taking pictures! Just as soon as I find the missing battery recharger, I’m giving him my old Canon.

Things I learned building my time machine:

  1. I loved saying “Can you help me? I need some longer bolts to finish attaching the smoke stack to my Time Machine!” to the guy at Home Depot without explaining what that meant.
  2. It is a lot harder to vault a winged box than you’d think and maybe you should consider alternate methods of locomotion.
  3. It’s all fun and games until someone jumps back in time and gets stuck again living through 2020. Avoid it if you can.

I had to have help with the Time Machine for the simple fact, I forgot to install a door in it. And my lack of agility meant I couldn’t get in place within the ten seconds the count-down timer on my camera gave me. (Those of you with attention to detail will spot that I’m wearing a different skirt in the middle image where I am trying, and failing, to clear the edge of my time machine successfully.) Canon really should consider a three-minute countdown for situations like these.

So, my little neighbor came to the rescue by hitting the button on my camera… and then was so darned cute popping in and out of the scene that I ended up getting permission from his family to submit the first one above as our time travel adventure.


One of the most difficult challenges involved me overcoming my lack of talent in two areas plus questionable skills using my cell phone to record my efforts.

Be grateful there is no sound for this one:

ITEM. #75 – You need to practice your music AND your painting, but you’re nothing if not efficient: Paint a landscape while playing a violin, cello, trombone, or other musical instrument that has a moving part when played. The paintbrush should be attached to the moving part so as you play, you paint.

I spent a few hours trying to practice The Imperial March to no avail. I was very glad to discover that “Time-Lapse” does not record sound!

I was so relieved when I got the Trombone Painting finished! (I have two really bad canvases if anyone is interested in turning them into kindling.)


There were lots of simple activities that involved charitable giving–one in particular involved a shrubbery.

This next item combined two things I could appreciate into one charitable act: lawn maintenance and honoring someone who lost their battle with cancer!

This one’s for Holli!

ITEM #58 – The GISH and Random Acts communities just lost one of our own to cancer: Holli was a dear friend, Gisher, and volunteer. She was also a longtime champion for food equity, so we’re taking up the mantle: Sign up to volunteer or make a donation to, the food bank where Holli devoted her time, or your local food bank or a food equity program while wearing a crown of holly, real or manufactured. Post a photo of you in your crown with proof of your donation on social media tagging @randomactsorg, #GISH, and #RandomActs4Holli.

The hardest part about GISH charity isn’t the giving, it’s the taking credit for GIVING. But, for Holli, I am willing to be a better person on paper! May her legacy reign for years to come!


I did lots of things the week of GISH–I met up with a friend and we dined al fresco which was truly great, until…

Quite suddenly a torrential downpour dampened our picnic pleasures. We tried to ignore it. We used umbrellas and pretended wet was the new dry–until rain started flying sideways and threatened our oh-so-delicious butter chicken and tikka masala!

No pictures available, sadly, as the rain made the attempted selfies blurry.


The next one was one of my favorites. I didn’t really stick to the outlined description because I was inspired by what I found rotting away in my refrigerator drawers.

Item #1220,000 Leeks Under the Sea. Make an epic sea monster entirely from onions.

I found FOUR dead or dying onion halves in baggies in my fridge. So, I held a wake. Here are the mourners. Don’t you just want to cry?!

And for those of you who are wondering…yes, I used up most of the onions making a variation of French Onion Soup. (Except for a few halves which I left to rot as is my tradition.)

As for the giant anise flavored fennel which I bought for it’s hairy, photogenic qualities but cannot stomach any way you cook them? I gave them to a good home.


As always with GISH, there were items that appealed for the challenge and beauty of them–and then I regretted heartily when I realized it meant I had to sign up for something called Instagram???

ITEM #157 – Gen Padalecki recently launched “towwn,” which stands for “take only what we need.” She’s trying to find solutions that help both people and the planet to remind us that we are all connected because we are the world… literally. Prove it: Transform half of your head into planet Earth with as much detail as you can. Post it to Instagram with #GISH and tag @towwn.

Originally I shot this using my Canon EOS on a tripod and got a great image despite the blazing sun!

Only to discover that–ONE CANNOT UPLOAD TO INSTAGRAM FROM A DESKTOP COMPUTER! WHAAAAAAAT? What kind of backward technology is this!? Luddite restrictions! Fie and for shame INSTAGRAM!

So this is the picture I had to take with my cell phone. Sigh.

You can see from the second photoshoot that my make-up was starting to feel the effects of climate change and was threatening to slide right off my face!

What you might not notice at first are all the hair clips I spent about four hours constructing with a glue gun and lots of leftover crafting supplies. I was planning on clipping them in my hair to represent different eco-systems, only to remember AFTER I had made them all, that I now wear my hair very short. You would think this would have occurred to me WHILE I was compiling them. But, no. One of the side effects of GISH is the effect of sleep deprivation combined with massive caffeine overload making for poor reasoning skills.

By the way, it took several washes to get the white grease paint out of my hair–and you can’t even see the polar ice caps melting on top of my head! Boo!


The next item was fun–but required a very fast group participation at a specific time. Which made it really hard for the teammates in Japan to participate but, what do you know? A few came through!

Item #29RECORD BREAKER: (COLLAGE) In celebration of 10 years of GISH, we’re attempting to set our first GISH World Record: the most handwritten notes of kindness posted on Instagram in an hour! Collage all your team’s notes into a SINGLE IMAGE. (Item description edited for length)

I once more failed to notice a key requirement that you had to submit a ‘collage’ of the team’s kind notes. I do not have that function on my stupid desktop photoshop system.

I spent a few hours trying to figure a way to do it online without paying for a monthly subscription. Instead, I had to print these pictures out, one at a time, and scan them as a group! So if anyone out there knows of a replacement for Picasa, please let me know.

[I also picked the above item because of a tie-in with a way to get rid of all of my son’s broken and abandoned crayons. You can mail them to this organization:, which collects gently used crayons and gets them into the hands of underserved children and schools, instead of into landfills. Learn more here!]


And speaking of crayons, another charitable option was easy, sort of:

Item #204 – (COLLAGE) Hey, remember Item 29 where we told you to set a GISH World Record? Well, you have all those leftover crayons! What to do? Donate them for a good cause, of course…..(Bonus points if you also donate Colors of the World Crayolas to ensure that children of color are able to feel represented as they create.) Submit a collage showing all the notes and crayons you donated and comment to tell us how many you donated and where you donated them.

Here’s hoping the lack of ‘kind note’ doesn’t mean this item was disqualified.

I did this as one of my last items–so I had to deliver them after GISH was over. I found a local refugee center and dropped them off as promised. But I also gave a donation to Crayon Collection just to be safe.

Maybe you’d like to check out the Refugee Education Center too.


I went to Meijer Garden to get a picture in front of the most iconic sculpture they have for another team member’s item and went on the night they have free concerts. This was a lucky and serendipitous decision!

Had to ask for help from a stranger when it turned out I carried my tripod all the way there without the camera–base attachment. Sigh.

If you were to ask me which item I am most proud to have done, that would be Item 76 which is why I have saved it for last. I had to get my courage up to ask a very weird favor of a stranger. And not just any stranger. No no! It had to be a famous stranger. In person. And you needed video proof of them fulfilling a very weird request. And THEN you had to post it for everyone to see.

I could not have done Item 76 without the help of a very generous and kind individual who probably gets a lot of strange requests if, as she said, THIS one wasn’t the weirdest! I’ll post the description of the item after the video because this deserves to be watched on its own merits!

A shout goes out to Diana Ladio of The Moxie Strings–who managed to get this item done in one single take after a very energetic live performance at Meijer Gardens–A VERY BIG THANK-YOU.

You totally rocked my socks off!

Diana Ladio – I owe you some hand sanitizer the next time I see you!

Item #75 – Video someone with more than 100k social media followers hand-washing your socks. Submit your video with a comment including the name, account handle, and the number of followers they have.

And yes…those were the socks I had been wearing ALL DAY LONG, running around doing GISHY-GISHY things. Her act was more than kind and generous–it was stench defying! I was so giddy with excitement and grateful, I bought three CDs and she threw in a fourth one for free!

And though the band slightly exaggerated their number of TikTok followers, I was truly happy to get such a good video from a good sport! And, as promised, a lot of charity was committed to honor my promise that it was for a good cause.


As every year, GISH has a big charitable method to its madness. This year was particularly important in light of what is happening now in Afghanistan. In case you too have been heartsick by the withdrawal and the suffering and death that has followed, maybe you want to find a way to put a little good back into a war-torn world.

This year–every GISH registration supported child victims of war in Afghanistan through Legacy of War Foundation and EMERGENCY (NGO) in partnership with Random Acts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

So, if anybody needs to ask, “What is GISH good for?

The answer is simple: “GISH is ALL the good–and sometimes it looks like a wacky time traveler, with the world for a face, a trombone for a paint brush, who, with the help of kind strangers, tries to make the world a slightly better place (with slightly cleaner socks) for being in it.

11 thoughts on “GISH, Please!

  1. I look forward to your GISH extravaganzas. You are hardcore!

    Re Insta and desktop – yeah, what the? I believe that there is a work around, but one that requires more than all your effort you put into this year’s GISH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I highly recommend it if you love being artsy-craftsy–or just plain like doing silly things in the name of charity. Welcome to our mad little world, here’s your beanie hat with propeller. Be prepare to be amazed!


    1. I find it helps if I conserve all my energies of the year into one week. I am practically collapsed in a coma by the end of GISH and swearing off it vociferously until the next year rolls around. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the spectacle from a safe distance!


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