Pieces of life :)

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Hi to all,

Long time no post, but wanted to check in to say hi to those who visit periodically and I wanted to share some photos too – a few ‘pieces of life’ :).

Like most of you, I’m sure, I’m switching hats constantly in an attempt to “get everything done”.   That “everything” thought is funny, huh? 🙂  Mom duties, house duties (is anyone else still ironing? Gotta work on that!), volunteering at school, attempting to cook…ha…, keeping watch on new home construction, playing with the boy :)…gotta remember to play, homework, new graphics for products, website maintenance, blog posts & news (well, it’s a theory), pay bills, processing orders, and periodically working a paying job…script supervising.

Well, I was switching all the hats on and off pretty quickly until last fall.  Once Tate started first grade and I began to volunteer more at school and all my business hats got a bit dusty as I worked out a new juggling style.

It’s been a terrific season and I have enjoyed the hours of participation in school activities and cherish the focused time spent with my son and family.  xoxo  Thankfully, my business has been tiptoeing along in spite of my near absence.

There are new ideas on the horizon and new products coming soon to the website.  I’m excited about this fall’s Abilities Expo in San Jose, CA and can’t wait to share the new products that were inspired by attendees from previous shows.  A new focus for the company has been born.  Can’t wait to share more soon!

Until then, Happy Summer to all!  May your days be filled with moments to remember…big and small :).

Cheers,

Kelly     

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“Be The Change…”


With the start of the New Year, often comes a renewed commitment to “change”. Changes I have proclaimed in the past have often been related to exercise, diet, staying more connected with friends and family, learning a new language or how to play my dusty guitar, being consistent with my business communications, learn more about marketing, daily yoga (a dream), read more inspirational books, or curb my habit for run-on sentences :)…

This year, I’d love to accomplish ALL of those! In reality, I see that some “changes” will happen over a lifetime by changing what I choose to do each day.

One change that I have made and continue to strive towards, is to educate myself on what I can do in big or small ways to help make a difference in our environment. The more I’ve learned (which is still a small drop in an enormous bucket of information) the more I’m motivated to make changes in my own habits.

Last year, I was stunned and somehow enlightened by an experience at one of my son’s school events. I volunteer at school as a classroom helper as well as helping with the recycling program. I’ve had lots of interaction with the students that range in grades from K to 6th. As a whole, the students are extremely polite and respectful…but, I was shocked to see their expressions change at our Fall Carnival when I started managing the trash.

I’d set up recycle cans around the carnival area, but realized that many cans and bottles were still ending up in the regular trash so I started walking around with bag in hand reminding students and adults to put their bottles and cans in the proper receptacles. I also offered to add their can/bottle to my recycle bag if they were finished.

The once “respectful” responses and looks from the students transitioned into looks of disgust that were sometimes followed by indignant remarks like “I’m not done with mine yet, come back”. How curious….I was (and am) the exact same person I was seconds before I’d touched the trash, but once I had touched things others had discarded, there seemed to be an automatic loss of respect?

I wasn’t upset with the students…just baffled. Didn’t they understand that it’s their world too? If I don’t pick it up and they don’t pick it up or sort it properly, it’s going to blow to the sewer drains and end up in our oceans, litter our streets, or stay in the regular trash and end up in a landfill and not decompose.

Boy, if there ever was a moment when I thought “we need a change”, this was it! We’ve all heard it LOTS in politics, but I’m voting for having our earth’s future be the focus of this mantra!

We, as adults, need to “Be The Change” that will inspire our children to take pride in taking care of our world! It’s not someone else’s job to tend the trash in our world…it’s our world and our trash and I believe we CAN make difference as soon as we change how we view our part it the cycle.

I realize that talking about trash is about as popular as discussing sniffles…but, oh well :). Gotta do what you believe in and baby steps count :)!

Here are a few video links in a variety of styles offering very similar information. I’d love it if you’d pick the style that suits you best and have a view :).

A Musical version…

A Story for ALL ages..and boy what a perspective it offers…


School lecture…


Quick PowerPoint…

Documentary – “Tapped” (trailer)

Here’s to making a positive change for our earth, our children and their children…and their’s…..

Thanks for reading,
Kelly 🙂

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Scenes from Summer :)

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I hope everyone had a terrific summer! We got lots of playtime in and now it’s “back-to-school” and back to my old perch at the computer.

BUT…before moving on to the big “to-do” list, I wanted to share some “Scenes from Summer”…extending the season just a bit longer before ‘getting to work’ :).

Our summer started with a birthday party a few days before Tate turned 6. We had lots of fun with friends and family

Then…on his REAL birthday he stood on the arm of the couch, but slipped and got his first set of stitches – 6 stitches on his 6th birthday!

Tate learned to ride a bike and got skateboarding lessons from a friend.

We skied on the 4th of July along with some climbing, zip-line, and fishing action!

Then came the BIG adventure for the summer. We teamed up with some terrific, adventure loving friends, and took a 5 day trip on the Green River. We were completely out of touch…floating…camping…stargazing…caught in storms…playing football on deserted sandy beaches…swatting mosquitoes…discovering amazing landscapes…swimming in murky, but somehow refreshing waters…and ending our nights listening to “Harry Potter” as the sound of the reader’s voice carried from tent to tent in the quiet evenings, before the storms! No guides, no phones, no internet…

The trip also included a visit to Arches National Park as well as a day at the Grand Canyon!

We were home for 3 days…then off to KY to see Grandma, back for an Organic Gardening Camp, trip to Magic Mountain, Legoland with Nana, and a day at the beach! Tate just wanted to ‘deadhead’ in front of the TV after all that…and I let him :).

O.K….back to work; a different kind of ‘adventure’!

Happy trails,
Kelly 🙂

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Wall of Inspiration…

When I moved from Kentucky to California some 22 years ago (yikes, time flies) I lived alone for much of the time and had BIG dreams…still do, they’re just different ones.

I decorated my apartment with plants, IKEA furniture, books, and a LOTS of quotes and inspirational sayings that were posted in various, strategic spots.

As I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day, I found my “poem stash” that had been put away since the move to our current home 3 years ago. Don’t need to see many of them to remember the words…they’re etched in my noggin’. Hoped that one of the sayings might add a spark to someone else’s day, so here are a few.

Two were posted by the door to remind me on the way in and out, that no matter what happened that day, it was up to me what I made of it. Still using lines from these daily :).
One is “It’s How You Cope” (above) and the other is the ever popular, “Don’t Quit” (right).

In my bedroom, posted alongside photos of friends and family was “Follow Your Dreams”, (below) which I will always love…especially now that I’ve lost most of my Southern accent and the lines that end in ‘doors’ and ‘yours’ rhyme (previously ‘doors’ and ‘yers’…confused me :). Still love Southern accents and have my own when I go home to KY or have more than one margarita!

And the final one is a quote from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inaugural Speech as he quoted Marianne Williamson. I’m working on this one in life. Don’t know it by heart, but need to. Such a big order to fill. It’s going to take more than a “to-do” list to participate in this offering. Kudos to those who already to!

Wishing you an inspired day,
Kelly 🙂

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Wisdom from Children…

Last night I found myself stuck in a state of sentimental “awe & gratitude” as I watched my computer’s screen saver flashing photos from the last few years of life with my family. Then, as I headed for bed, I noticed yet another group of photos. It was an album entitled “It’s a wonderful Life”, created as a birthday present by a dear friend who is no longer with us. Thanks DaveO…xox.

I’m what some call a “fruity” sort and am open to all sorts of possibilities when it comes to explaining life and the loss of it. I’m curious bird and when I treat myself to a non-business book, it’s usually in the field of spiritual healing or afterlife possibilities. This weekend was one of those “treat” times as we made a long drive for a family celebration.

This weekend’s reading was from Hollister Rand’s new book “I’m not dead, I’m different”. I didn’t realize this when I purchased it, but it’s a book focused on “Kids in Spirit” – Kids in Spirit Teach Us About Living a Better Life on Earth.

WOW…the thought of that loss is so overwhelming that I almost chose another book to take along, as I was hoping for a restful and happy reading break. I ultimately opted to give it a go and I’m glad I did. Her stories are healing and comforting. I loved this section:

“What We Can Learn From Kids in Spirit” by Hollister Rand

* Bullies might win on the playground, but they lose at the game of life.
* Life is like skateboarding. You’ll fall a lot before mastering the tricks.
* Live at the speed of light. Laugh at the speed of sound.
* “Why?” is a short question that takes and eternity to answer.
* Life is like playing on the swings. It’s more fun the higher you go.
* Don’t wait until school’s out to enjoy life.
* Let your life tell a story that inspires.
* Don’t grow up, just keep growing.
* Live beyond limits because life is limitless.
* Share your toys and you’ll always have joy.
* If you think that you’re singing alone, just listen. There’s always a band playing behind you.
* Don’t be afraid of the bogeyman under the bed. He can’t keep you from dreaming.
* Saying “thank you” rather than “please” is the way to receive what you need.
* Sometimes a butterfly is a kiss from Heaven.
* Forgiveness changes life from black-and-white to color.
* Death is life changing, but it is better to change before dying.
* The building blocks of heaven are love, hope and joy.

Hollister Rand’s book also includes many references to the exceptional contributions children have made in this world, no matter how long or short their lives. She points out how many charities, scholarships, new legislation, and safety upgrades have served society in many ways as a result of a child’s loving presence.

This morning, as I sat with my coffee and preparing for a long list of “to-dos”, I took note of my stack of unread “Parents” magazines laying on the table in wait of some attention. I decided I’d sneak in one more indulgent moment, but knew I wouldn’t have time to read for long. Which one to start with? Which article to read?

I opted for the “grab one, let it open, and read whatever’s there”. It happened that the article on my random page selection method was “Parents Who Change the World”- page 150 – May 2011. These parents are changing the world because of tragic events that have happened with their children.

Seems there’s a theme to the weekend reading. The message will be different to each of us. The message I got was to appreciate every moment that we are given this gift of life. To be present and grateful for each second that we are able to share in the lives of our children, and to offer support and thanks to the many who have weathered painful times to bring about change for the rest of us.

My regular “to-do” list seems pretty small now.

With gratitude,
Kelly 🙂

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The joy of invention :)

The most exciting thing about my business journey, thus far, is watching the inspiration in my son for “new ideas”. He’s always telling me what “we’re going to invent next”!

I’ve been intrigued by his neat thoughts! I especially liked the “Go Anywhere Trampoline”….all you have to do is decide where you want to go, say it, then jump on to the trampoline from a launching platform and when you land from your big bounce…you’re wherever you asked to go! Hope he makes that one happen 🙂 …and no baggage fees please!

He rigs things all over the house and yard and has a story for what it’s going to do. A fishing pole twisted over the medicine cabinet knob, around a corner to the towel rack, with the end suspended 10” or so above the ground was to “knock the mouse in the head when he builds a door to his house and comes out”. No mice in my house, that I know of, but if they come…we’re ready!

Can’t really explain the toilet, but it made me stop and take a photo 🙂

Another exciting thing has been getting feedback from folks who have found our product to be extremely helpful in their world.

Last week the Mom of a Special Needs daughter came to me to say “thank you” and “please keep this business going”. I also got a note from a Mom telling me how much they’d helped her little ones with severe allergies. Moments like that, combined with my son’s excitement as he tells folks “we’re inventors”…makes some skinny looking accounting details seem trivial.

“Success” attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

I’m not sure the accountant’s gonna buy that one, but I’m good to go out of this world with it if I can accomplish so much! Here’s to new ideas, dreams, and going for it!

Whatever it is you dream…I wish it for you!

:),
Kelly

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Getting older, but staying young at heart :)

I recently turned another year older, but get tickled at how I think I’m “early 30’s” or so in my head. I don’t tend to give the actually # much weight and subscribe more to “you are as old as you feel”…which is occasionally making its presence known, I must admit.

Here are some funny remarks for the week from my son’s fellow classmates.

Friend #1 – (as I turned from the front seat back to unhook his car seat….LOUD and with a look of instant horror) “WHY DO YOU LOOK LIKE A GRANDMA!?!?!”

Me: “Well, it’s a weird position and I guess gravity just isn’t my friend at the moment.”

He continued staring at me blankly, except for the lingering horror, as I sat up straight again. 🙂

Friend #2 – (as I helped out in the classroom) “Excuse me Tate’s Mom, are you like this at home?”

Me: “How so?”

Student #2: “Like, the way you talk?”

Me: “You mean GOOFY?”

Student #2: “Well….yeah” (with a giggle)

Me: “Yep, I’m pretty much like this all the time unless I get too hungry.” 🙂

Student #2: “Cool”…(quietly, as if I’d told a HUGE secret).

Kids are so terrific!!! Tellin’ it like it is, so I’m officially a little older on the outside, but good and goofy!

Here’s to aging goofy :),
Kelly

ps – do extra chins continue to show up per year? I sure hope not, but I’m keepin’ pace! 🙂

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The plastic bottle…..

I’ve been working as a Script Supervisor a lot these last few weeks and find myself gazing sadly at the 100’s of 1/2 used plastic water bottles lying around.

The film industry has tried to make changes by offering crew members aluminum bottles to refill and buying compostable tableware (not knowing that unless it goes to a commercial compost site, it’ll hang out just like plastic in a landfill).

I thought I’d post this video link. It certainly give a new perspective on getting that “fresh, clean bottle water”.

Happy filtered tap :),
Kelly
ps – if you’ve never watched “The Story of Stuff”, it’s an eye-opener too!

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The Wonders in Our Own Backyards!

I love seeing new parts of the world and hope to see a lot more of it one day. What fun it is to discover the wonders of a place you’ve never been before! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older or if it’s just too much time at the computer, but my backyard has become just as fascinating as some of the far off adventures I can remember having.

Mom on her perch

Right now there’s a hummingbird perched in a tree by the door who built the most hi-tech looking nest and is faithfully protecting her newly hatched chick and yet to hatch egg from the heavy rain. What a trooper! Here she was just before the downpour…

Earlier this year when the cactus bloomed the visitors were remarkable :).

And butterfly discoveries have been so much fun to watch!

What a treat from Mother Nature to have fruit magically appear after the sweet flowers disappear, then we have a lemonade party, and back into the earth it goes to become dirt again!

“Well, HELLO Ms. Black Widow in my greens waste can!” Not all the sites have been comforting, but they are all quite fascinating!

Wishing you a day filled with wonder,
Kelly 🙂

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I meant well…..

It’s funny how things don’t always (or sometimes hardly ever) turn out like you plan in life, but lessons are always learned in the process. I’m not exactly sure what my lesson was here, but “make sure you know how the movie ends before you go” could be in there.

I took my sweet, 5 year old son to the movies last week. I was excited as I drove 15+ miles to the California Science Center because I had kept promise to take him to see “the Bug Movie”, as we called it.

Days get so busy with juggling the business, motherhood, house duties, frequent ski trips, and school projects. I was proud that I hadn’t forgotten or let it slip past the close of the show dates.

We sat together marveling at the IMax 3D version insects in the rainforest. He was reaching out to see if he could catch the butterflies flying by….it was so cute!

The story follows the birth of a caterpillar and a praying mantis and their journeys into adulthood. There were a few tense moments as life happens to them both. My son took a seat in my lap, wanting to snuggle Mommy as he enjoyed the beautiful visuals….and then…..

After watching them grow up, become adults, turn from caterpillar to butterfly, mate (we made it thru that ok), they both have names, the movie’s about to end when the praying mantis and the butterfly end up on the same flower and… in IMax 3D glory….the praying mantis snatches the butterfly off his perch and EATS HIM!

My son screams “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” at the top of his lungs as it happens. Oh my…what to say….. The movie ends. He’s crying profusely. My proud “I made it happen” moment fades into the sunset. We exited and found some tissue for his tears. Where’s are Sniffle Buddies when you need them? 🙂

Thank goodness for the wonders of the CA Science Center!!! It’s connected to the theater’s exit so after we dried out and tried a “hi-5 reset” (which helped a little), we ventured off to explore the world of transportation for a couple of hours. All was well after that, until Daddy asked him how the movie was during dinner… :-O! Waterworks again. I’m so fired!

He did get to lift a 5,000 lb. truck with a lever arm, turn into an astronaut, and test out different car shapes for the most efficient aerodynamic design!

The CA Science Center is free to the public and an awesome resource for stimulating a child’s desire to learn…but, maybe skip the “food chain style” movies until they’re out of kindergarten. Visit their site at www.californiasciencecenter.org .

Lesson learned!

Wish you a beautiful weekend,
Kelly 🙂

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