Monday, July 28, 2008

Nothing = Special

If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda, you are truly missing out on a great movie. My boys and I went about a month ago and LOVED IT.

We were nearly blinded by its pure awesomeness!!

Several lines of the movie caught my attention. I commend Dreamworks for making such a positive movie for the whole family to enjoy, and for throwing in great little messages.

One of my favorites:

"To make something special you just have to believe it is special"
~Mr. Ping to Po

There is no secret ingredient.
How great is that?

Better yet as I battle the bad guys in my son's Nintendo DS game dying over and over. Jacob says to me:

"Mom do you believe you will win?"
"Buddy, that is awesome. Yes I do."

Bad guys were then destroyed swiftly.

Belief. Faith. Trust.
Whichever you choose, make the most of the day.

What is special to you right now?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Inspiring Clients

I love helping people feel better
about their space.
Junk drawer.

If there is an area in home or business that is causing you to say "UGH," then perhaps you should act on it.

Michelle was feeling that way about her home office. Back in May she had me help her breathe again in her office (that story here).

We accomplished a lot on that day, though Michelle had plans for more. I was delighted to get an email from her with a picture of what she had done to complete the project.

"Thought I’d send you an update – bought my shelving unit and now life is mah-velous. Never thought I’d purchase anything at ikea, but it is perfect for all of my paper needs. Its 6’x6’, and solid as a rock. My goal is to get more black boxes and label them for all of the individual items.

Thanks a bunch!!"

I am so excited Michelle took on this task
and completed her project on her own.

How have you inspired someone?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Am The Luckiest Mom In The World

Happy Birthday Matthew!!

I can't believe he is 10 years old. As I have always done, I find a moment on this day and write my birthday boy a note. When my boys turn 18 years old, they will each have 18 letters from me to them.

Another tradition my boys and I have is we make our own birthday cake. In the past they have been elaborate for a homemade cake: dinosaur village, monster truck show, volcano oozes over animals and a swamp monster destroying a city. We are quite imaginative in our home.

This year Matthew just wanted a simple white frosted cake. I suggested the sprinkles to make it festive. But I had a surprise: Trick Candles.

All the kids thought it was great since they kinda sparked a bit. When Matthew blew them out and they relit, I thought they would all pee their pants from laughter. It was HYSTERICAL!!

With the smoke alarms ready to go off, we got the candles out and dined on a very tasty cake. Matthew's deemed his party one of the best ever. Today was all about him.

I look at him and I am in awe at the amazing young man he has become. This morning Matthew said to me, "the love you give me is better than any stuff." Jacob agreed. Big group hug.

I am the luckiest mom in the world tonight.
Thank you Matthew.....Happy birthday my superman!

How does your family make you feel lucky?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

With Garages, You've Gotta Have a Junk Pile

Man it's a hot one,
Like 7 inches from the midday sun

Santana with Rob Thomas "Smooth" was running through my head as "Tracy" and I began working on her garage.

It was a beautiful 90 degF with about 110% humidity summer day in Michigan. I love summer heat and would much rather sweat like a pig than freeze my little tushie off.

Onto Tracy's garage ........
We decided to pull nearly everything out of her garage.

As we did this piles were created:
- kids stuff
- bikes
- garden/landscaping
- tools
- junk (gotta have a junk pile)
- home decor

By pulling everything out of the garage Tracy was able to see, and find, everything she had. She swept out the floor as I installed some wall storage hooks and racks to get things up off the floor.

Then we set up a storage areas for kids stuff and garden/landscaping items. The tools were sorted and organized into the tool cabinet and benches. The home decor items were put away. And the junk ....... well, that got curbed to the road.

In just over 4 hours, Tracy's garage was transformed
from a "disaster zone" to "WOW!"

With time and energy left, we moved onto the basement and were able to get her son's band area tidied up a bit and came up with a game plan for the overall basement organization.

Man, it was a hot day. Tracy was pleased with her new garage. Her kids were shocked at what we accomplished. "Can you do my bedroom?" her daughter asked me.

Do you prefer to work the heat of summer or the chill of winter?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What If The World Had More Charlies?

After helping "Charlie" with his garage, he asked me to help his wife get her new apartment ready. I purchased new bedroom furniture, bedding and shower items for "Sandra," then returned to help get all her items put away.

During lunch, Charlie's wife began telling a bit about his life.

Charlie's father was a physicist who was in the US Defense Department working on weapons of mass destruction. Due to his father's responsibilities, Charlie spent his entire childhood under the care of the secret service. Bouncing from home to home, with a new last name each time he moved. WOW!

Sandra continued to tell how he ran off and joined the Marines at age 16. Ranking a Major in the US Marine Corps, Charlie fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. She continued on with stories about their travels and hobbies.
I was in awe!!

Charlie gazed at his wife with such a loving look in his eyes. It was amazing to see a man care so very much about his wife. Not by anything he said or did, just his eyes. Stunning.

Sandra mentioned her back ached a bit. Charlie, speaking very slowly from the effects of his stroke, "Would you like me to arrange for a massage?"

In a flash, Sandra snapped back:
"Oh so now your gonna do something for me.
What the hell would I want anything from you? Your useless."

Charlie simply pursed his lips, nodded to me, his eyes broken.

"Sandra, why don't you eat your lunch so we can finish unpacking your room?" I stated in attempt to skirt what just happened.

Charlie went off for a haircut. Sandra and I went to her new room to get her items unpacked.

Charlie is an amazing man. He has told me he will always love his wife despite what her dementia is doing to her. My respect for Charlie grows with each meeting I have with him.
Hmmm ... funny, I randomly chose Charlie's nickname.
He is more than a good man. Charlie is a great man.

Sometimes what you learn from a stranger is priceless.

What have you learned from someone?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oooh, I'm Saucy!


Do not fret. It's a fun, easy summertime quiz.

I think my hot sauce result was pretty much right on target.
Bit concerned that I did want to be relish. I hate pickles.
(not there is anything wrong with you if you're relish)
You Are Hot Sauce

You are the life of any party, because you're so
good at bringing people out of their shell.

You have a knack for helping people happily
embrace their true selves.

You are ambitious, driven, and fearless.

You love taking risks.

Your taste in food is 100% adventurous.

You're up for sampling any exotic cuisine or
someone's kitchen experiments.

You live for trying new things, and
you get sick of eating the same food
(even if it's very delicious).

What condiment are you?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Helping Charlie

"Charlie and Sandra" moved into their new senior villa about 8 months ago. Like many times, the move was very quick due to declining health reasons. Charlie and Sandra were unable to prepare or move themselves, and their family was unavailable. They relied on hired movers to pack and get their items to their new home.

Eight months have past and Charlie and Sandra still have a garage packed with items that have never been unpacked. Some items are keepsakes and collections lost amid the piles.

Both Charlie and Sandra use motorized scooters to get around, and all these boxes make it quite challenging. There are paths for them, though ideally these things need to be sorted and removed.

This was going to be another dirty job. Thought I would snap a shot of me in action - Bandana, respirator and ready to get messy. Some people think I'm crazy for doing these really gross projects, and this one was right up there with the best of the worst ones.

Then Charlie returns home after lunch, sees the amazing progress made in his garage and he begins to cry a bit. He tells me a bit of his story, how thankful he is for the amazing life he has had to date and the frustration he is beginning to feel for the loss of his wife whose dementia is becoming quite advanced.

At this point, I begin to forget all the nastiness of my job and I am thankful for being able to make a huge impact in Charlie's life. His garage is cleaned out, keepsakes found and collections safely stored. The majority of items and boxes were damaged and needed to be trashed. Those things that could be used were donated and three crates of canned goods will be taken to Cherry St Mission, a local food bank.

Couple hours into this project I did think to myself:
"I must be nuts for getting involved in this."

Though now looking back, it's projects like this that truly make me realized why I do what I do: Helping people feel better about life.

Why do you do what you do?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Free Hugs in Toledo, Ohio

Well, it took over a year to get our act together.
It's all about timing.
Patience has paid off .........
Free Hugs Toledo, Ohio
prior to a Mudhens game
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

When was the last time you hugged a stranger?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Enough is Enough ... We are all better off than ever!

Gas Pump Prices Rising.

Obama and McCain Square Off Over Poor Economy.
A-Rod's Wife Files For Divorce.

Honestly.....How is your life?
Not the stuff you have.

Your life. Who you are.

Take away all the stuff surrounding you and take inventory of what cannot be purchased.

Stop reading the headlines and listening to the Top Story of the day on the news.

Start thinking about yourself and what you accomplished today to make your life better for yourself. For your family.
What did you do to challenge yourself?
Who did you make smile and laugh?
How are you helping others?

Stuff wise:
If you have a flat screen TV, XBox, Wii or Playstation3, you're doing OK. (none of these are in our home)

If you have a computer, internet service, cell phone or Blackberry, I bet you're ahead of where you were 5-10 years ago technology wise.

Look at the current price of a few common items in US$/gallon:
Pepsi/Coke $5.33
Minute Maid Orange juice $6.99
Propel Water $7.68
Monster Energy Drink $12.80
Blue Moon Beer $14.22
Starbuck Frappucino Iced Coffee $20.48
Evian Water $21.19
Robert Mondavi Chardonnay $28.16

Current International Gas Prices (US$/gal):
Australia $6.56
Japan $6.75
UK $8.79
France $8.80
Germany $8.88
Netherlands $9.90
Italy $8.96
Kuwait $2.39
Saudi Arabia $1.69
(well, I guess there's no shipping costs to the last two)

Sure, we all want to pay a fair price for gas.
Compared to other nations, we are doing pretty good with gas prices.

Gas sold for about $0.31/gal in 1959
($2.18 for today's inflation).
Now it's about $4.15/gal = 90% increase

Oh, Coca Cola sold for $0.05/bottle in 1959
($0.35 for today's inflation).
Today it's $1.50/bottle = 328% increase one is complaining about the price of Coke or Pepsi.
And energy drinks are flying off the shelf.

Bottled water ... Remember, Coke and Pepsi start out as bottled water before the sugars and colorings are added. Bottled water is a cost savings to the corporations, though they charge the same for water as other products. Interesting.

You will not find me complaining about the economy or the gas prices.

I just can't get involved in the negativity.

I'm an optimist and full of the belief that times are challenging, and you must rise and meet challenges.

How do you feel about today's headlines?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fishing Report

What a fabulous week!

I caught the first fish, nice size bass (just for you Soul baby!)

Jacob caught his first fish:
a sweet, little perch .

Finally, Matthew caught his first fish:
a baby bluegill.

All the many fish caught were released, except for the small pike we continued to catch. These guys are overrunning the lake and quickly became eagle food.

It was amazing to watch this eagle swoop in an snatch fish out of the lake. AWESOME!!

The UP of Michigan is a beautiful area. Put it on your list of places you should take the time to visit at some point in your life.

What is another place that you recommend to visit?