Thursday, November 13, 2014

Our Hands Can! Community Stories: October 2014 - Change of Seasons

Change in the air this time of year. Whether it’s leaves that change colours, wardrobes changing from summer tank tops to sweaters (or vice versa in the Southern hemisphere), or the temperatures, there is a shift going on. At Show Us Your Hands!, we got so excited about change that we decided to update a number of the things we do. This includes our logo and, even more excitingly, we’d like you to design it for us! Are you interested? Click here to read more about the Show Us Your Hands! logo contest and send us your design!

We got some great contributions to October’s Picture Project. Our theme was Change of Seasons. We’d like to thank Daniel P. Malito for donating the October prize: a signed copy of his book So Young: A Life Lived With Rheumatoid Arthritis. Read on to see who won!

It’s not just our community members who contribute photos to the Picture Project. The members of the Board do, as well. Over the coming months, we’ll show you some of their contributions, as well. We’re starting with Lene’s new discovery. She said “Bought a great sweatshirt with built-in fingerless gloves. Perfect! My right hand always gets cold from being out in the elements driving my wheelchair.”

Pets can be an important contribution to your quality of life, adding love to your every day and also getting you up and moving. 

Bridget submitted this wonderful photo that’s the epitome of the love that exists between a pet and a person, saying “My hands can still hug my pup when I'm going through a bad flare on a chilly day.” Give that wonderful squishy face a hug from us, too, Bridget!

Showing you one of the other benefits of having a pet, Ann shared this photo of an leafy walk. “I'm lucky to be able to take my dog Trudy for Autumn walks in the woods using my mobility scooter.” We’re glad you and Trudy have found a way to enjoy the outdoors.

Drumroll, please! The winner of the October Picture Project is April, with this very creative submission. She said “Today my hands were completely enjoying the fall weekend.” Thanks for making us laugh, April an congratulations! Email us you address at infoATsuyhDOTorg and we’ll get the book in the mail to you.

Do you want to be part of the Picture Project this month? Our theme is gratitude. Take a photo of your hands doing something related to what you’re thankful for, then post it on the Show Us Your Hands! Facebook page or Twitter and tag your post with @showusyourhands. Submit as many photos as you’d like.

The November prize is a signed copy of Elizabeth M. Cristy’s wonderful children’s book Why Does Mommy Hurt?: Helping Children Cope with the Challenges of Having a Caregiver with Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, or Autoimmune Disease. We’d like to thank Elizabeth for donating this month’s prize.

Just a reminder: by submitting a photo, you give Show Us Your Hands! permission to use the photo and your name in our community programs, such as the monthly Our Hands Can! Community Stories.

What are you thankful for this month?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Redtailed Beauty

Last weekend, The Boy and I decided on an excursion to Henry's, Heaven for camera nuts. Not to buy, just to see, hold, and possibly to covet.

What? Don't you do that?

We cut through St. James Park on the way, both carrying our cameras. I got stuck taking photos of leaves and he wandered off to pursue his obsession: catching a pigeon in flight without any blur. After a few minutes, I heard him whisper-shout my name, looked up and saw my beloved frantically waving for me to join him further into the park by a clump of trees. I moved towards him, then heard what he was saying (a whisper-shout is hard to decipher at a distance):

"Warp speed and bring your zoom!"

So I pushed it into fast, speed and an uneven path collaborating to shake loose a kidney or two. When I got closer The Boy continued in a now penetrating whisper:

"Bird of prey in the tree, people taking photos, come quickly!" 

I hoofed it. And saw this incredible sight (as always, click on photos to embiggen)

I've seen Peregrine falcons in the neighbourhood, both in flight — they nest at a skyscraper not too far for me — and once at a community fair on the arm of someone working with them, but I've never seen anything but photos of a larger bird of prey. This was magnificent, considerable in size, and, impossibly, right downtown. There was a handful of people standing before the tree, phones aloft and pointed at this beautiful creature. Needless to say, we quickly joined them.

The bird sat there for some time, looking up with intent at the pigeons flying overhead. They were minding their own business, not yet aware that someone quite unlike them had joined their territory. And then the eyes sharpened and its position changed 

It took off and in flight, you could really see its size and the bird of prey-ness of it

Photo by David Govoni

Turns out it was not yet hunting. Instead, it found another tree closer to the road and settled near the top business branches to get a really good view of the area

 And then it lifted off and soared, circling the park

and the pigeons, quite understandably, panicked

It didn't catch lunch that time, instead flying north to find other, slower prey, leaving The Boy and I awed and humbled at this gift of seeing such a beautiful bird

The pigeons, on the other hand, were left relieved and shaky, huddling close for comfort

It took a  while in Google, but we identified the beauty as a Redtailed Hawk. When posting a photo to Facebook, my more bird-knowledgeable friends confirmed this, saying it was a juvenile.

And it was breathtaking.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Show Us Your Hands! Logo Contest

Unite and Inspire. 

These concepts are key components of the mission of Show Us Your Hands!. We aim to unite and inspire the inflammatory arthritis community through creative programs that focus on what our hands can do. We're planning some exciting changes and want to involve you in the process!

We invite our lovely followers to create a new logo for Show Us Your Hands! that captures the essence of who we are and what we do. The winning design will be used as the official logo of Show Us Your Hands! and the designer will be displayed on our new website, currently in development.

If you’re interested in submitting a design, it’s important that you read the official rules (see below). Send your submission to and post it on the Show Us Your Hands! Facebook Page by November 14, 2014 at 11:50 PM ET. It’s important to do both. NOTE: DEADLINE EXTENDED: submit by Monday, November 24, 2014, AT 11:59 pm ET. 

We can’t wait to see what you create! 

Terms & Conditions for Show Us Your Hands! Logo Contest

About Show Us Your Hands!
The mission of Show Us Your Hands! is to unite and inspire people who live with inflammatory arthritis. We carry out this mission through creative community projects and awareness campaigns aimed at increasing public understanding of inflammatory arthritis. Our community members, program participants, volunteers, donors, Directors and staff work together to build hope for the inflammatory arthritis community, one hand at a time.

Show Us Your Hands! is located at 1042 Maple Avenue, ste 195, Lisle, IL, 60532, USA. You can reach us at 

This describes the official rules (“Official Rules”) of the Show Us Your Hands! Logo Design Contest (the “Contest”). The object of this contest is to design a new logo for Show Us Your Hands!. Information on how to enter is part of these Official Rules. To the extent of any inconsistency, these Official Rules prevail. 

“Entry” means a logo design created by the Entrant for this Contest. “Entrant” means the individual that offers the Entry under the terms of this Contest. 


  1. The Contest is open only to individuals.
  2. Members of the Board of Directors of Show Us Your Hands! and their immediate family are not eligible to enter.
  3. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older.


The Contest will open on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM ET and close on Friday, November 14, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET. After this date no further entries to the competition will be accepted. NOTE: DEADLINE EXTENDED: submit by Monday, November 24, 2014, AT 11:59 pm ET. 

How to Enter

  1. Entries must be submitted by posting the design to the Show Us Your Hands! Facebook page, as well as by email to Entries will not be complete unless both posted to the Show Us Your Hands! Facebook page and submitted via email. Incomplete entries will not be considered.
  2. The email Entry must include the name, age, postal address, phone number and email address of the Entrant.
  3. The entries must be submitted as a JPG. See the Submission Guidelines below for further information.
  4. No more than 3 Entries may be submitted by any one Entrant.
  5. Entries must conform to the Submission Guidelines set out below. Entries that fail to do so will be rejected.
  6. We will attempt to acknowledge all entries within one week (7 days) of receipt; however, we cannot be responsible for entries or responses lost in e-mail.
  7. There is no fee to enter the Contest.

Submission Guidelines
The purpose of the contest is to design a new logo for Show Us Your Hands!. The logo will be used as the new Official Logo for Show Us Your Hands, displayed on our website and future photobooks, communications, and products to identify the organization.

Flexibility of the logo design is essential, including the ability to easily resize and to be suitable for high quality printing.

You should be careful that your Entries in no way be similar to existing logos or other copyrighted images  

Judging and Selection of Winner

  1. The winning design will be selected by the Show Us Your Hands! Board of Directors. Their decision will be final. No further correspondence shall be entered into.
  2. Show Us Your Hands! reserves the right to extend, modify or terminate the contest at any time and to not to select a winner if, in its sole discretion, no suitable entries are received.
  3. Show Us Your Hands! reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant or Entry at its sole discretion. No correspondence shall be entered into.
  4. The winner will be required to sign a contract assigning all ownership of the logo to Show Us Your Hands!.
  5. Entering the contest constitutes permission for Show Us Your Hands! to make public and otherwise use images you have submitted, your name, and country of residence for publicity purposes while the event is running and afterwards. Further personal data may be requested but is not required.
  6. Show Us Your Hands! assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information or submissions you send us. 
  7.  Show Us Your Hands! will not in any way allow others to use your design while the event is running without your consent.

The winner of the Contest will be displayed on the Show Us Your Hands! website with name and country, photo, and link to designer’s website (if applicable). 

Intellectual Property

  1. All submitted work must be original and not based on any pre-existing design.
  2. All Entries will become the sole property of Show Us Your Hands! and may be displayed publicly on Show Us Your Hands! websites, publications, and products.
  3. The winning entry may be registered by Show Us Your Hands! as a Service Mark and the Entrant agrees to transfer all right and title to the Entry to Show Us Your Hands! in accordance with the Official Rules of this Contest.
  4. The winning Entrant retains the right to identify him/herself as the logo designer and use the logo in that context.

Notification and Acceptance
The winner will be notified by email and/or letter within 30 days of the closing date of the Contest. 

Participation constitutes the Entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. By participating in the Contest, the Entrant is warranting that he/she has read and understood, and agrees to be bound by, these rules. 

These Official Rules constitute the entire agreement between the Entrant and Show Us Your Hands! in relation to the Contest. They govern the Entrant’s participation and supersede any prior or other agreements between the Entrant and Show Us Your Hands! and relating to the Contest. 

Role of Facebook

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or any other Social Network. Entering the Contest constitute a complete and entire release of Facebook by the Entrant.