Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Voted Today - Newington

It's amazing - you think we were having a major national election. Today was a vote on changing the Newington town charter.

First - a big thank you to the Charter Commission that worked for more than a year on the improvements to the Charter that is being voted upon today.

The possible hottest issue of this "change" in the charter is to bring the Town Budget to a referendum if and when the Town Council wishes to pass a budget inexcess of a 3% increase. This so hotly contested - the D's vs. R's and within parties themselves.

We have a local TV station, NCTV. So I expect this evening we should have news when the polls close.
As Town's folks we have recieved email, snail mail, robo phone solitations, and other calls to get the vote out. If you are a NO vote, an arguement stated was that since the people elect the Town Council, the people don't want to be bothered. Now that is a weak argurment (and dangerous) - around the wet noodle stage. Now I find that a bit insulting(not really) - though I know that I take an active roll in what goes on. I do know that elected officials DO NOT know what I am thinking! This revision will enable the Town's folks to have a bigger input in how and why our taxes keep going up.

Yet when we boil this down - it's a change - and too many people don't like change especially in areas they may lack sufficient knowledge and would be required to reach out to learn more.

Stay tuned ..... no news yet on how the vote turned out.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kindness begets Kindness

Such a simple statement. From the Greek proverbs, it has guided most of my life. Being kind, is not difficult, it is purely a choice. It is how I wish to be treated. We all have heard the "Golden Rule" and "treating others as you wish to be treated".

Of course there are those individuals out in the world that don't live by these words or deeds. They are everywhere. The other day - a whole bunch of drivers were going like heck and blowing their horns and they really didn't get any where any quicker. Then there was this lady yesterday, since she had a tough life, we all needed to re-live her tough life and no one going forward is allowed to enjoy a better choice. Then there are the 'spoiled brats' of the world and they think they deserve everyone to wait on them, yet they give nothing in return except bad behavior. I hope by now you may have thought of one or two individuals in your life.

So what do you do. While we can not eliminate them, we can set boundaries to keep these folks from taking energy from you. You need to raise the bar as to their behavior and it's consequences. Sometimes, you need to leave them behind and move ahead. What ever you choose, be kind. You may never know that the lesson given about kindness may come back to you one hundred fold.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Uncle Bob

Happy Birthday Uncle Bob,

You'll probably have to see this on mom's computer since you won't turn yours on!

So how will you spend this year? A few more ache & pains - not you. You'll enjoy a great year. With eight grand nieces and nephews - there is so much going on. Of course your new puppy you recieved this past Christmas Eve will continue to keep you busy (though I think you'll need a few more batteries!)

You were the one to travel the world, enjoy the five star resturants and the theatre, visit with friends from all over. (can you tell these two are brothers - they even dressed the same!)

Always quite generous, our Christmas Eve dinner is a very special evening out for all of us. Really, we so love our sushi!

An animal lover - while this one isn't little Bobby - she and you were great buddies. It was a safe place for Tasha (the only dog that matched mom's paisley sofa).
So it's a new year - what will you do? What ever you decide - May you have lots of health, happiness, your tax refund and slush fund, and enjoy each day - Happy Birthday UB!
Your Favorite Niece! love, PJ

Horse Fever

Hi Gang at the Kerul & Dave corral,

Many years ago I had a most unfortunate experience with a pony that ran away with me on it's back. I thought I was going to have a little ride but oh no, the pony had other ideas. After what seemed like a hundred miles of a straight away gallop, the pony just stopped dead in its tracks. I was glad but truly shaken up.

Since then, even though I wanted to go to Camp Bobbin Hollow for equestrain delights, I wasn't sure I wanted to be within close proximity to a horse again.

Time flies by......................... I find myself in Florida last week visiting a great friend of mine, Kerul. Well she and her husband, Dave, have two horses, Goldie pictured above) and Dakota (to the right) and as we make plans for my visit, she does remind me that we have horse duty on Saturday and Sunday. So I gather up myself and pack a bit more self-confidence.

Lets say - it's one thing to be on one side of the fence and the horse on the other side - it's a whole other thing when you are standing in the middle of five horses and they all want a treat. I observed Dave as he took Goldie through her steps. They use the Pirelli method. It is great and I had a chance to 'be the with horses'. I had the opportunity to be "THE TREAT KIOSK" - those horses knew just what pocket I had the treats in! It was amazing to let them know I was the leader of the pack and they "listened".

Thanks to Kerul and Dave and my first lessons - I felt quite comfortable with Goldie and Dakota, while I was on the ground. Possibly on my next visit I may have the chance to get up on one for a "controlled ride" around the pen.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gifts vs Gift Cards

Now the holidays have ended I thought it be time to think about the gift giving vs. the gift cards.

I'm an old fashion girl - I want to shake the box, have it wrapped with pretty paper and of course with ribbons and bows. There is still a 'little kid' in me that is excited when then box is there with my name on it. In my family - the gift with the "special paper from grandpa" - was generally a really good one. It doesn't matter the holiday, or birthday, or the just because gift, it's really fun to get a gift all wrapped up just for me. If you wonder how come ...... well this guy loved a good present and we all could count of him to wear the bow!

I guess the use of gift cards could be due to being a bit more ecological, or is it that there isn't enough time to think of that special gift, it seems that the citizenery has fallen to giving a 'gift card'. It's easy, takes only the time to stand in line, and voila, gift is done. Heck you can order them oline and have them shipped to the receipent.

I do believe gift cards have their place in the gift world - such as assisting the receipent to purchase a big ticket item; then there is the on-line comodities like music or cell/text minutes, and limiting the receipent to where they can shop. All in all, the card issuers really win!

Some interesting statistics - some 50 million adults purchased gift cards last year; the receipent (61% of them) spent more than the original amount of the card; Americans use 83% of the cards issued worldwide; receipents, more than 54% of them, need to make at least two trips to the store to use up the card's value; and the drum roll please...... 33% of the total value of a card is never used or redeemed. In 2004, there was an etimated $17.34 BILLION in gift card sales! You do the math!

This year I recieved some gift cards that I'll add to my other cards that still have a balance, some really nice home made gifts like the bread made by my cousin/godchild, and a really cool gift in a box with fancy paper and a bow (thanks mom & dad)! I'm thankful for all, just wished for more boxes with pretty paper and a bow!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Spencer

Happy Birthday Spencer!!!

I'm wishing you the best birthday ever - double ones. I hope that you have a great day.

You are an amazing young man - quite talented, good at school, likes lots of sports and a great scout! I especially like the weaving you made for me. It was one of the first things I unpacked in my new home. I think of you often, especially when I see it in my studio.

So what will this new year be for you? I'm sure there are lots of things you would like to. Will you go camping again? I bet Dad loves going out there with you.

Well Buddy - I'm looking forward to when you'll come up to visit me.

Whatever you do, remember to have a good time, enjoy yourself and those around you.

We love you lots - Happy Birthday to You!

Love ya,
Aunt Patty

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Made the press!

With my move this past summer, my edition of our state wide newsletter was lost in the shuffle. Through a good friend, Marian Amodeo, Director of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library, I received a copy yesterday.

The Summer 2008 Edition of FOCL Point - page 8 and 9 is a brief description from the awards ceremony, a couple of paragraphs on my award and a picture. It was a great time, first to be recognized for the service to our own Friends group and second to enjoy and give thanks to the other Friends that make libraries in Connecticut such a special place and lastly was that so many family and friends were able to be with me that day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


.. is one of my all time favorite topics to read about. In the last several months I've been either re-reading great titles from my collection or borrowing new ones from the Library. Thanks Lucy Robbins Welles!

Now that the first month of 2009 is completed, time to take a bit of personal inventory.

I'll be traveling in a few days to get some much needed sunshine and spend time with a good friend of mine. Kerul and I met at the mid-Atlantic Conference of NAWBO in November 2001. We met in a class to design and develop a master mind group run by Jane Pollak. We've had members come and go, we've missed a few meetings, we have ebbed and flowed, and some seven plus years have come and gone and we have met, every month for one hour of Master Mind. She's a life coach and you can reach her business site - New Leaf Systems. Of course my site is a click away.

Master Mind - developed by Andrew Carnegie and you can read about it in a book by Napoleon Hill "Think and Grow Rich"pg 147. Copyrighted back to 1960, yet the original book was back to 1937. A tremendous book with lots to think about and put into action. A master mind group - is a group of individuals coming from different skill sets. We are charged with telling about our "Challenges, Successes we have experienced since the last meeting and the Goals we are going for by our next meeting". By having all these different skill sets - many of the challenges are made into goals and then into successes!

It's an amazing one hour - you are focused on your group and you take stake in your actions. So my Challenges were getting a cold, setting up for tax season, planning a little get away, dealing with how the snow is dealt with in my new home. Successes - enjoyed my 53rd birthday, enjoyed spice cake, got over a cold, had a brunch party with Tim & Sandy and my parents, ordered and installed a new computer (thanks Dan!), saw the first plan for the Library expansion, read/listened to 12 books. Goals, visit with Kerul and enjoy the FL sunshine, finish making up my schedule for the next several months, attend the Lace Guild meeting once a month, keep up with the daily chores, finish up a crochet blanket and write my blog, get busy with the expansion!

So what does this have to do with leadership - it has to do with keeping your doors open for opportunities, multiplying your mind's resources, and giving your imagination a chance to wonder to the unknown. This is my fertile ground for new ideas and solutions.

I invite you to give it a try - if you bring "old man IF" to the table - read on pg 229 as he's not your friend and has kept you from obtaining your hopes, dreams and goals.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

GroundHog Day - Be there!

Punxsutawney, PA - make it a destination! The 123rd trek to Gobbler's Knob for Phil's Offical Prognostication!

........ meet Phil our most famous Weather Predictor Extroidnaire - and the most photographed Pennsylvanian!

This is a most amazing event. It's a weekend long event. They have a major website, directions, parking and shuttle bus service, special handicap viewing space, visit the Official Souvenier Shop; attend Groundhog Comedy Club Night! You can buy sponsorships, attend the Groundhog banquet, Phil's Family Picnic or taste your way around the Groundhog Wine Trail. Checking in and knowing your way around is most important. Now if you attend, be sure to enter the Groundhog Day Quilt raffle. Of course you can order on-line to have your own memorbilia of the event.

All this for February 2nd at approx 7:25 a.m.

Each year we await to see if our beloved groundhog will see his shadow and predict the next six weeks of the season. There is the Inner Circle a group of men (what, no women?) that officiate the event and care for Phil all year long. Besides the president and treasurer, there is the Cloud Builder, Fog Spinner, Thunder Conductor, Sky Painter.... you get the (snow) drift.

Only in America - this town has made this event an extrodinary. It is truly amazing. Now to keep it going all year long - you can join up in a local chapter or begin your own chapter. There's the Shawdow Watchers in Kansas, the Southernmost Groundhog chaper - you guess it - Key West, and FOB Speicher - 101st Airborn Division in Iraq. So it's not just the guys in PA - it's all around us. There are even Junior Chapters!

If you can't make the event, then make the Groundhog cookies, make a Groundhog film, or watch the movie! Whatever you choose, Happy Groundhog Day!!!!!

PS - for those of you doing the math ---- Phil started making predictions back in 1887 and is based on an old Scottish couplet "if Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year".