Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Membership Renewal Time

Yes it is, it is that time of year to kick off the Friends of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library fall membership drive.

While we take membership throughout the year, it is the fall when the major push to have members renew. This year's letter speaks to the savings patrons have been able to enjoy because the Friends purchase 27 Museum and Attraction Passes for lending purposes. With respect to a great tradition of the Friends, it is sponsoring the Summer Reading Program. This past summer, more that 2000 adults, teens and children took part and read thousands of books.

The Friends are an amazing and vibrant group of people - over 900 members strong. Many of them are active in the committees that enable the Friends to meet its mission to support the Library with materials, programs, and events.

We are such a great group. Thank you to each member - YOU make our Library the best.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Social Networks

Last week I was attending a seminar on risk, insurance, malpractice. A room full of accountants - now that can be scary!

This is a repeat session that I attend every few years as part of my risk insurance program. Of course we tell some war stories and hear about new court cases where the suits are just ridiculous. We often can get off on a tangent with lots of discussions on using computers, software, and now this cloud computing and social networks.

Social networks - well known like FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning and so many others. Their general purpose is to create and cultivate online communities. So folks join in and begin airing themselves in/on screen of the computer. The point is that this typing out there on these networks is recorded on quite a few servers and backedup on numerous more.

What one danger (there are quite a few) is that stuff you write or the stuff that is written about you and lastly who is in your friends, list, etc can and will probably come back to haunt you.

We are talking about everyone that uses them.... kids not a big deal until they begin to apply to college, now FaceBook account may be looked at to see if you are the 'right' kind of person or who you are likely to be 'hangin' with. Job interviews - another place that your tweets and LinkedIn bits could come under scrunity. As you continue in life, possible public service position, whether it be politics or an appointment to a position, once again what you wrote years ago could be found out without much work and come back to haunt you.

I use them, cautiously. It's nice to get picutres of my friends' kids, hear about some successful event, and share a good thought or two.

I would just say be careful what you write out there in cyberland's social networks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank you Readers

Hi all,

Thank you all for reading my blog. It's celebration time. My counter has exceeded the 3,000 mark. Not that I am counting, (the accountant part of me is ) though with a rough start, learning to write more, and in a fluid fashion, has been a great journey to get to this moment.

It was only back in May 2008, that I wrote my first blog entry here. I had tried it back as far as 2006, though I just couldn't get the writting juices going. I will give credit to my brother Pete's blog and to my niece Taylor's blog1 and blog2 that inspired me to get out there and write.

A friend of mine mentioned the other day, "i don't know how you do it". I can only say is that I tried, practiced, have received 'help' from reading the what and how of other bloggers. The blogging community is amazing group of folks who enjoy writing. I've learned lots about technology, found great reads and some great information that I'll be able to use going forward.

So Thank You Very Much..... see you tomorrow :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Nano

Ok, I'll admit that when it comes to this little devices, I'm behind the curve. My brothers will make fun of me when I was just out of college and the only device I had was two clock radios - one for the bedroom and one in the kitchen/dining/livng area. Of course they had to solve that problem and gave me a wonderful tuner. Yes I still have it and it works fine.

When the nanos first came on the market I was a bit impressed. You could rip your music cd to your computer and then load the music onto the device. The only music you could listen to was what you put on it. Hmmmm, I said scratching my head - but what if I wanted to listen to the radio? My old (and still works really well on 2 aa batteries) portable cassett player has a FM tuner in it. By the way I do have a portable CD player but not a portable tv nor a portable DVD player but I do have a laptop. And if I had to carry this stuff all around - not a good thing!

What I didn't like about these little devices is that you needed ear buds to listen. With my ear event, wearing ear buds (plugs) is really not an option and is detrimental to my hearing.

Ok back to this new and improved device. It has a FM radio (been told only good receiption outside), a video camera, a microphone, speaker (yeah!)and some one in the marketing department got them to put a pedometer into the gadgit.

You can click and dial on this little baby, then sync with your computer it will sync with your iTunes account. Now your talking real convenience! There are several versions of iPod MP player.Take a look, I think there is great potential available.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chalk Walk - Something to do

I so love this time of year. The Big E, Durham Fair are this weekend and right here in my own back yard is Newington's Water Fall Festival and Chalk Walk competition.

This event began as an idea that the businesses and organizations have an event. We close down a street in the center of town and make it a all day party. What a great idea. I worked on the event at the beginning and it all came together as we are celebrating the sixth year.

One event - the Chalk Walk - begins at about 6:30 am. Artists pay for a space on the pavement and paint a picture. They have till about 2pm to create their works. It's amazing to watch them work away. Since it is a contest, one of these lucky artists will walk away with bragging rights and a check for $500!

The rest of the festival is grand - lots of things to do, entertainment on the stage, of course you get the best eats supplied by our local restaurants. It is alot of fun and it is FREE. Need to be outside and enjoy some fresh air - stop by the Water Fall Festival and Chalk Walk. Hours - 10 to 5pm on Market Square Newington, CT - click here for some pictures from last year

Friday, September 25, 2009

Banned Books Week

...." A community without a Library is a community without a soul"... by Patty Foley

Beginning September 26th through October 4th is Banned Books Week. Yes Banned Books - it is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Now you can look at any of these supporters and understand the importance of having books. There are so many freedoms we have that are wrapped up in the ability to be able to read books. We gain information, explore thoughts, and express ideas. Yet when we talk of banned books - that leaves us with not knowing and actually, in my opinion, in a more vunerable position as a society. I understand why some groups challenge books, as it is their point of view. I respect that. We do know that your point of view may not be shared with others, and that's okay. It is about having intellectual freedom.

The following is a selection of classic books that have been challenged or banned. To see the list, click here - These are some of my favorite stories ... The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger; Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis; The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett; of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Charlotte's Web by EB White; and to round out a short list - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. If you would like to read why these and others were challenged or banned - click here.

Other authors.... F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, JRR Tolkien, Norman Mailer - many of these authors appears more than once on the list.

In celebration of this week - here are two videos that speak to the point.

This one's message is quite clear - it's what we don't see/read that is what we should be afraid of.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Big E - Big Day in New England!

It was a great day at the Big E. After my volunteer hours in the Craft area where I demonstrated making lace I was free to enjoy the fair. So Jules and I began to look at the map and really began our day. We tasted our way around.... perogies, soft chicken tacos, some ice cream, cotton candy, a Sam Adams Octoberfest!, fried clam bellies, fish sandwish all very yummy!

Of course we went through the petting zoo, into the barns for the sheep, (wool sheep arrive on Friday for the next week) beef cattle, got the last peek at the Jerseys, ran over to the horse barn to wish the Connecticut girls good luck on the evenings "fit & show" competition, saw baby chicks born, I even held a 12 hour old chick - so cute. Then llamas, alpacas, bunnies and chickens and this momma pig and her newly born piglets! I was having a field day. Jules was taking it all in. If you haven't been to a big fair - the Big E - will get you a great education.

The vendors were there to hawk there goods from cowboy hats, to decals for your cell phone and everything inbetween. Then there was the parade and it was Connecticut Day! Governor Rell was there with lots of dignataries, lots of high school marching bands - all from Connecticut - Fife & Drum, the Govenors Foot Guard and Band were present along with our mounted police and even the Coast Guard band. It was rounded up with the clyesdale horses - magnificent animals - followed by the pooper sweeper :)

We began to slow down as the sun began to set, so back to a few shops, stopped to see the Sea Lion Splash, sponsored by New Alliance Bank - now it was so cute and we saw the start of the Madi Gras parade and I even picked up a necklace thrown from on of the floats.

It was a great day and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Even more special to me was the chance to introduce my good friend Jules to a favorite New England tradition.

And here's the last of the piglets!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Falls into place - WOW

Sometimes it just falls into place. Windows of Opportunity are everywhere. Even when you are not looking for the proverbial "IT" somehow the karma out there just honed in on you.

Back when I moved into my place, I had the dilemma of not enough storage in the kitchen/dining area. So I tried this and that, gave up on the third idea though the "this" still seemed to be good. Couldn't decide - and pressed the "hold button". Before you know it, the winter came and went, spring flew by and then the rains and more rain. Just recently, I came into a small used cabinet. Pretty solid, top that can be used as a serving area or just for show. What is best is that it is deep enough to place my largest platters into it! Viola! WOW

I'm somewhat relieved that was done. Now with a little more PMA I stopped at one of the stores on the Tpke to see if any other 'decorating diva' was on the loose and could assist me to finish the corner of the dining area. Oh my goodness the "this" (sideboard pictured) is still at the store. I remeasured it especially the inside dimensions (as I don't need as deep a cabinet now) and will be checking out the space. It's 16.9 cubic feet of heavenly storage and I could finally get the last two boxes of my stuff made useable. How exciting is this!

Ok I'm a bit carried away on it. Let me sleep on it for a week or so. The new sale is beginning Oct 4th and it could go on sale! WOW

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Charles W. Morgan

This past Sunday's Hartford Courant's front page featured a great article on the continuing restoration of The Charles W. Morgan, a whaling ship moored at Mystic Seaport.

Quite a few years ago, I was at the Seaport for their chowder fest (great time and coming up in October) and had the opportunity to see the Amastad's hull being constructed.

Now the Morgan has been pulled up for a lengthy restoration. The Trustees of the Seaport have worked long and hard to keep the Morgan afloat in order for us to understand the trials and tribulations of that time for the crew of the Morgan to collect whale meat/blubber. An interesting note in the article is that the Seaport staff has been chasing hurricanes and other storms looking for (very old) uprooted live oak trees in order to rebuild the ship's ribs. Then there is a specific type of pine that is needed for the decks, let alone the hemp, special cotton to make the sails.

In this article you can learn the origins of the "slush fund", learn that the cook earned $328 for his share of the 11th voyage that lasted from 1878 to 1881! She has sailed in the Pacific, rounded Cape Horn and ended up in the harbor in New Bedford, Ma until 1941 when the Mystic Seaport acquired her and brought her to her home at the Seaport in Connecticut.

If you get a chance, stop by and visit her. The Seaport is one of my favorite spots. You have the opportunity to go back in time and visit how life was then. By the way, they expect to have the Morgan back in the water and to have her sail the oceans blue again in 2012 or 2013.

Monday, September 21, 2009

KC - a forever home

It's been four and a half months since KC moved in - formerly known as Adios. Her first month was a really me getting used to having four padded paws about the house and for her, that she needed to relax, unwind, and realize she could become a cat once again.

Since then, she's been left with a sitter that came in each day(thanks Jules). When I returned home, of course I woke her from one of her many naps and she kinda acknowleged my arrival. Nice? It was a day later that she began to follow me around and meow for hours. Ahh I guess she did miss me or it was a lecture?

Overnight guests (nieces and newphews) were here and that meant she didn't get to stay in the midday napping room. Though she did to seem quite well and it looked like either she was releved that the kids left or was wondering where I hid them as she went room to room looking. It was a good lesson for her to interact (though only a bit) with other people.

I've begun to learn the different meows that she makes, like the dish is empty, I want food, the scared meow, and when are you going to stop working, that one is more like a demand! Though when she purrs - it is grand. She has just begun a 'talking' sound. It's this noise that my old cat did it when he was excited to see the chipmunks. By the way - she snores, wakes me up, like a freight train!

This week we had to go to the Vet to discuss some food issues. Very tramatic to put her in the box and drive over to the office. I heard meows that I never hear before, she was panting and scared. She may be remembering the trip to and from the shelter? Once to the office, she calmed down, allowed the tech and the vet to do anything they wanted without a peep. What a good good ole girl!
Having a nine year old cat has it's challenges. Now that she arrived here and is enjoying the good life, she's put on weight - a good thing. Yet there is too much of a good thing LOL! and she needs to lose a pound and a half. When she got here she was only about nine pounds and you could see all her ribs. Now - with living here, she weighed in at a solid fourteen pounds! So here's the plan - This week we are trying to see if feeding her less kibble to deal with the digestion (or lack thereof) has helped, next week the teaspoon of wet food will be changed with ID wet food and the week after that, the dry food will be changed to 'diet' dry food.

So life here is just lovely. Miss KC hangs out with me and seems to enjoy her new home (me too!). While the beginning was a bit rough - the trust building stage - I would recommend to anyone, please consider adopting an older pet. They need loving forever homes too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Memorial Ride for Officer Peter Lavery

This morning I was doing my putting around when the sounds of hundreds of motorcycles went by on the Berlin Turnpike below me all escorted by various police officers. It lasted over five minutes, then I remembered!

It was the Fifth Memorial Ride for Officer Peter Lavery. A great guy, super law enforcement officer on my local PD. The night, December 30, 2004, he responded to a domestic violence call in town. Tragically, he was gunned down in the line of duty. This one incident paralized then polarized this great community I live in.

Today - they ride again. Beautiful day, a 35 mile ride beginning and ending at McGuires Sports Bar on the Turnpike. The funds donated today will benefit the scholarship fund created in his memory. The family, who estabished this fund has raised, with the help of our community and those who support law enforcement, tens of thousands of dollars and has awarded scholarships to many deserving students beginning a law enforcement career.

Thank you to all those individuals who choose to dedicate their lives to protecting our way of life.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Off to NELG

It's NELG weekend. The New England Lace Group. Hope you enjoy a bit of lace making with this video. Traditional bobbin lace on a cookie pillow... cross and twist.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

ReFinance your Mortgage - Now

Yes, it is time to refinance my mortgage! Yes it is only 13 months old - yet with the way the market has been, rates have been coming down.

So you haven't thought about it yet? Pull out your papers, look at your current rate - can you lower it by 1 point? If you answer yes, then it is time to seriously look at the opportunities out there.

Where do I go? First of all, try your current lender. For me, that was a bust as my mortgage was sold on day one from one company to Countrywide, then acquired by the Bank of America. Yet, in today's market, many lenders are willing to give good deals to their current clients.

Next - I ventured out to the internet and had one of those sites send me interested lenders. Before I knew it, several emailed and called. That was three months ago. While it didn't take three months, I sat on the paperwork for a bit awaiting the dip of the rate. When it was a go - Village Mortgage - what a great group to work with, it is done (or should be by noon today!). My loan officer - Matt Rice - great guy is a dream to work with.

How much can you save? My rate is dropping from 6% to 4.875% and the savings if it runs the full length of the loan - $36,000+. Nice change! Since I'll pay it off earlier - with the current extra principal and the savings in the new payment - I'll be close to paying it off in 15 yrs - that's a savings of $90,000 - Nicer change!

Want to do the math?? visit my CPA website click on Financial Tools and click on Mortgage Calculators - it's Free. Better yet - you'll be richer because you did.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good Customer Service

It does happen, good customer service, and when it does, it helps you feel restored in the human condition. Congratulations to Amsterdam as they get today's prize.

A little more than a year ago I puchased some pens for promotional purposes. A sleek medium blue, my name, etc etched on them and with blue ink. The pen writes really smooth, it's a click top so you don't have to worry about losing the cap.

Back in the thick of things in the 'season' my assistant, with abosulte certainity, put in another order - the price was great and with blue ink. When the order arrived, it looked good, and put them in the drawer. It's just about time that the first batch is running out. So break open the new ones - and to my dismay - it is black ink. UGH!

So I gave them a call - maybe they could ship out the replacement filler in blue ink? Nope that was not an option as the young lady on the phone in customer service told me. I gave her the order number and she looked it up - no problem she said, please write down your new order and they will be shipped out immediately. So the honest soul in me, so what do I owe, how do I return the other pens? Geez we didn't want to waste anything. No there was no extra charge, she said and apologized for the error so I wished her a great afternoon.

My blue pens with blue ink will be arriving soon. I'm smiling and loving the ease with which I could get it solved. Thanks again Amsterdam - You can continue to count on my business!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quinoa.... do you knowa?

Sometime ago I had a stickey note on this grain though I didn't know what it was. Then recently I was shopping for gluten free items as my niece & nephew were visiting. I like to find a gluten free dish we all can make and enjoy together. I found a "corn bread" recipe that was a great hit and now my sister-in-law has to make lots of it.

While I didn't use it during the visit, I spotted it in the pantry and made some the other day. Simply boiled it, added fresh herbs, lemon juice and let it marinate in the fridge over night. It cooks like couscous (though that is made from wheat and not gluten free) it was a breeze. Yum Yum!

It's a native of South America - primarily from Bolivia and Peru which produce about 60% of the world comsumption. The plant is grown for it's seeds and there are many varieties. It's a complete protein - i.e. it includes all nine amino acids.

I highly recommend this grain/seed. If you are interested, do a internet search - you'll be pleasantly surprised

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog - more than one?

I've begun reading several bogs - some are fun - some related to my work - and others that are esoteric and just because you can read them. I get some ideas that percolate around in the grey matter until something pops out. One thing that gurgled its way up - is to re-start my other blog for my creative side. Not to worry, I will continue this blog as I have enjoyed learning to write (and proof read,) and find a voice in the writting world that is not filled with all numbers.

Creative Sources will be designated to those subjects about lace, thread, yarn, lace makers and the sorts. Of course there could be the sheep stories too! Since all of this may not be your cup of tea, I have set it aside yet only a click away. On the side bar - you'll see the link to Creative Sources. Stop by and see what is percolating there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beam me and my stuff up Scotty

My goodness - with today's age of all type of electronic gadgits, like 'in the cloud' and SaaS stuff, I wonder why the software developers are sitting around and not getting us new and more "user friendly" software to keep up with our lives.

I've been struggling with my Treo Smart Phone for too long. I've some 1000 contacts, use my calendar extensively, task list is important, and my notes are those little yellow stickeys I used to have stuck to my monitor are now all in my handheld phone device which is synced to my desktop. I was excited five years ago that I didn't have to carry my phone and my PDA, two separate devices. But this device - is slower than molasses on a February morning in New England. It's a memory problem and the "techies" can't seem to figure it out? Just recently when I was reviewing my "minutes" on my cell plan, and I'm up for a new phone - it seems that the phones out there do not have lots of memory? Duh moment?

Seth Godin's post The end of dumb software is right on point. As each of us choose to be "in touch" we need software and devices that will allow us to function so that we are not spending tons of time ($$) figuring out our techy gadgits. As I consult with small business owners, I need to have my gadgits working and working up to speed. Small business owners do not have the luxury of an enormous staff to take care of these items and do need the opportunity to be able to move ahead.

I'm so looking forward to the future to have more of my "info" at my finger tips or should I say lips, where it is all connected! Beam me up Scotty!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the Big E Opens this Week

It's that time of year here in New England. The fairs are around us and you can fill each weekend through October with all sorts of harvest fairs.

One of my favorites is the Big E - The Eastern States Exposition. Since our counties in New England are generally for geographical purposes, the Big E is the mega fair for the six New England States. It began back in 1916 as a livestock exhibition. Today some 93 years later, it is seventeen days of great times, great food, amazing entertainment, livestock and agriculture, and last by not least the crafts!

My parents took us when we were small. I remember a special trip with the trailer to go up for a weekend. It was a WOW for me even though it was a bit damp and cloudy, yet that didn't matter. I can remember being taken through each of the states buildings, and learning something about each one of them. By then, us kids could point out different items in the buildings as we had seen them on our previous camping travels. Then the animal barns - watch eggs hatch, see the cows, goats and sheep. Get to see really different bunnies, alpacas and lamas. There were contests for those involved in FFA, and to see a kid our age run a pair of oxen through their paces was pretty exciting.

I've returned many times, I'd say most years as an adult. It doesn't get much better when you visit the barns. There is the milking barns, the one that contain the clydesdales, and I really enjoy seeing the sheep and the jersey cows. One year I was able to witness the birth of a calf! Then try to guess the weight of the giant pumpkin contest. I got caught up in the Craft Adventure, the juried show of crafts that would be displayed in the Big E if you got a ribbon. It was held several weeks earlier and you had an entire weekend to all the work submitted. It was a feast for your eyes. There were the quilters, hookers, lacers to name of few. If it wasn't for Helen Storrow, we might not have this part of the Big E. Storrowton village is the part of this - permanent exhibit - open most of the year, that tells the story of years gone by.

I'm going up there on the 23rd to volunteer as a lace maker. It is my luck it will also be Connecticut Day at the Big E. So come on by and take in a day, honestly there is something for everyone.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Teaching Day....

Today was spent demonstrating bobbin lace making at the Milford Historic Society. Barbara, and her daughter Barbara join in for the morning, and Winann and I spent the day there. It was a bit cloudy all day, yet cool, the day was really quite nice. Sitting only a half block off the harbor, it is a good day.

We invited those in to see our wares, (not for sale) and how to make lace and even sit down and make some lace. Cross, Twist, Cross as we gave instructions to adults and children and we continue to make our snake bookmarks. It is truly wonderful when the visitor looks at the pillows with lots of bobbins on them and finds that it is only two pairs that it begins with. I had a set of twins, a three-some of little brothers, and a group of assorted kids accompanied by with their parents and grandparents.
Of course there were the questions of 'how much can you make' and 'how long' , it's the making of the lace, the process, that is the pleasure. Listening to the clinking of the bobbins as they move across the pillow and the lace unfold as each Cross, Twist, Pin is made is a special music to a lace makers' ears.
It was a great day for lace and a great day to teach lace.
If you are out an about - us Lace Makers will be staffing the Craft Building at the Big E. Your truly will be there for the morning shift on the 23rd of September.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Borrow a book?

Interesting concept! We have these great houses of books, funded by public money (most of the time) and pretty much open to anyone - they are called libraries.

Earlier I was speaking to this newly graduated college student and discussing a blog I was reading that was right up her alley. She thought he was really good. So I asked her if she took it up0n herself to get a few of his booksyet ? Right away she thought that it would be good to run down to the local Barnes & Noble to shop for them. I asked her (and because she was not working yet) why not borrow them and test them out before dropping bucks on them. Any way she thought it was a great idea.

So if you need a book, want to try one out, why not turn to your Library. They have books-on-CDs, audio CDs, DVDs, WEs, magazines, newspapers, journals, and lots and lots of books. You can also download books to your iPod or to your computer!

With those couple of bucks saved - join the Friends of the Library and receive lots more benefits!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Impact of One Person

It only takes one person to change this moment - we are all connected on this planet we call home. I received this email from a friend of mine. Get out a tissue, and enjoy the results that one teacher had on her class. I bet you can do it today for just one other individual.

Too Busy for a Friend?

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list.. Before long, the entire class
was smiling. 'Really?' she heard whispered. 'I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!' and, 'I didn't know others liked me so much,' were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a
last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. 'Were you Mark's math teacher?' he asked..... She nodded: 'yes.' Then he said:
'Mark talked about you a lot.'

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon.
Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

'We want to show you something,' his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket 'They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.'

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that
had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

'Thank you so much for doing that,' Mark's mother said... 'As you can see, Mark
treasured it.'

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather
sheepishly and said, 'I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home.' Chuck's wife said, 'Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.' 'I have mine too,' Marilyn said. 'It's in my diary'

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet
and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. 'I carry this with me at all times,' Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: 'I think we all saved our lists'

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all
his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end
one day. And we don't know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and
important. Tell them, before it is too late. Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.

May Your Day Be Blessed As Special As You Are

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

End of Summer Blessing

Now that we have celebrated Labor Day (in the US) summer seems to be officially over. There is this time before the offical date of Autumn (Sept 22nd)that there is a space of time that is filled with busy stuff. Garage cleaning, kids assorted sports schedules, planning the calendar for the up-coming holidays.

I found this Apache Blessing many years ago and it lives on my refrigerator. Today in this busy time I wish to share it with you. Enjoy...

May the sun
bring you new energy by day,
May the Moon
softly restore you by night,
May the Rain
wash away your worries,
May the Breeze
blow new strength into your being,
May you Walk
gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Blanket - This time for Shelby

If you saw my blog a week or so ago, you saw the blankets for Shelby's older sisters. It's become tradition - and now it is Shelby's time. She picked out her blanket, colors were approved and I'm on my way!

The basics is that the blanket is comprised of 154 squares with 7 rounds each - the 8th round is the joining round. So far this is where we are:

The first round - lite pink is complete! All 154 of them! The second round - adding a burgandy like color is on about 130 of them so far. Progress!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Email - how much time do you spend?

It is now amazing how much email shows up in your inbox. Ten years ago - that's 1999 - where were you? Were you getting this much stuff? Email was "invented" by a DOD guy in 1971. I remember using an email in grad school in 1988 with students in Korea. It was pretty cool. While it was in through the EDU "net", it was kinda cool to get a message around the world and back in about ten minutes!

Email is a great tool, though we can spend too much time, therefore waisting valuable time that could be spent doing anything else. It represents some one else's agenda, what they want from you.

According to a study by Radicati - (August 2008) there is about 1.3 billion email users (approximately 1 out of every 5 people on the planet has email)- there is nearly 183 billion pieces of email sent each day. No wonder some of us get an unnecessary about of email. Continuing with the same study - about 70% of emails are spam or viruses.

I've been using different methods to conquer my landslide of email. I have filters that put incoming mail into folders, check it about 2 - 3's per day. If something comes in that I need to know about sooner, I'm sure the sender will find me using some other technology. Over the last month or so, I had some real trouble with email, it wouldn't download, or would download three times - ugh! After some trials, it is now fixed. I did learn to delete more mail when I had to deal with my server, I did have to get "done" quicker, my email tools were stripped down while using the server than my own MS Outlook is set for. Let me tell you that having a empty email inbox, even if only for a few hours, is a great stress reducer.

Great book that I just read - Julie Morgenstern's "Never Check Email in the Morning" points out that your first hour should be saved for your most critial important task in the day. By checking email 1st thing - you get in a reactive mode. Why not get into a proactive mode first. Check out her interview! You may pick up a hint or two! and Good Luck to you and thank you Julie!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Communications or Communicating ?

That's the question today. We have lots of communication devices and methods. Beginning with IM, iPhone, cell phone, regular phone, Skype, email, video mail, audio mail, all sorts of chats to just name a few. Then the social networking methods of staying in touch - FaceBook, Linkin, YouTube, and Twitter when you only have 144 characters or not much to say.

It was interesting when my niece was visiting. We were laying around (in person) talking about her life. She was mentioning that she had enjoyed the Skype sessions we have had and I asked her, "what about the regular phone?". She explained that the computer was a preferred method, and when she was with some gf's (girlfriends) there was this silence. What were they to do with the silence as it was a bit uncomfortable.

How profound a thought. Enjoying someone's company doesn't mean it needs to be filled with "noise", it does mean that spending time together - how ever it may be, should be enjoyable. Some of the best time I had with my gf's is the quite time between the conversations.

So are you communicating or just using communications?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Year Ago

Time seems to go by so quickly these days. My question is why? Are we that busy (a word I dislike so much)? What ever happened to those lazy afternoons of summer?

What were you doing last year? Here are links to some posts that you particulary liked:

Yes , it was only a year ago when Politics were hot and heavy. Then November came and we all took a breath as the citizens voted and made history - Is it over yet and did the fat lady sing? or Lipstick is Great! ..are a couple of thoughts going on at that time.

You Must Dance ..... a video and why not dance!

Friends of the Library - yes - the Fall Campaign! The Campaign Begins and the update at Campaign - Day 10
A quick current note - This campaign is about to end - we have reached the highest amount of "Best Friends" and at the highest per member giving level. Let me tell you.... Every member is an amazing contributor to the Friends in its mission to support The Lucy Robbins Welles Library

What were you doing last year?