Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 21 of the 21 Days of Compliments Challenge

              I have reached the last day of the 21 Days of Compliments Challenge. What an accomplishment! This has been a true journey for me, one of great enlightenment. There is a saying (or several) about how many times or days you need to repeat a task or thought before it becomes automatic or before it changes your perspective, or any number of things. There is also an old saying that if you repeat someone’s name three times, you are less likely to forget it or if you use a word three times, it will become part of your vocabulary.
            This left me wondering what would happen if you do something for twenty-one days in a row. I have just completed such a task (in truth, a few extra days) and now know. Participating in this challenge has changed the way I view myself. I am more confident and definitely happier. Spending so much time looking for the good in your self leaves little time for negative thoughts. I have developed a wonderful habit that I definitely plan on nurturing. If I feel myself backsliding, I may just review that very long list at the end.
            Remember the commercial, “this is your brain on drugs?” Well - this is my brain on writing! I was telling a good friend of mine not long ago that my brain feels good. I’m sure that sounds like a strange statement (unless you are me, know me, or know her.) This exercise has forced me to sit down and write each day for twenty-one days. I have never done that before. I did not write any posts ahead of time. I used to spend a lot of time just trying to think of an interesting (in my opinion) topic for a once a week post and I found it interesting that I did not struggle as much while writing the twenty-one days of compliments. I did have many suggestions along the way and that helped tremendously. 
            These past twenty-one days has inspired me. It is not often that any of us take the time to truly look within ourselves and search out the good. We have a habit of always noticing the negative. Imagine doing this experiment with a group of people you work with. I can only imagine what a joyous place it would be for the duration of the challenge.
            I have had such a fun time with this challenge and hearing from friends and family willing to share their thoughts about me has filled my heart. Although I am sure that not everyone is ready, I am off and looking for another writing challenge. My brain is addicted to writing every day. I seem to remember a book I bought that has 365 questions. That should keep me occupied for the next year.
            My 21st compliment on the final day of the 21 Days of Compliments Challenge is after completing this journey, I feel good about myself. I am confident and like the person I see when I look in the mirror. 
            Thank you to everyone who followed along with me on this sojourn.

The Final List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.
16. I am a faithful friend.
 17. I am a fair person.
 18. I make the best damn fried chicken ever!
 19. I am not afraid of admitting I’m wrong.
 20. The gap between my two front teeth is a positive thing.
 21. I am confident and like the person I see in the mirror.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 20

             Today is Day 20 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. Tomorrow will be my last blog on this challenge. Please, everyone do not jump up and holler at the same time, it might just cause a tiny earthquake.
            I have a gap between my two front teeth. I’ve never considered it a bad thing, although I have had my share of dentists attempt to convince me that they could fix it. I have always considered it an identifying mark. 
            If I was ever murdered, they could identify my body by the gap between my teeth. If someone could not remember if I was the person who nearly ran them over, they could identify me in a line-up by my smile with the gap between my teeth.
            I always knew the chances of developing a cavity between those two particular teeth was next to none and that was a great relief to me considering my trepidation of going to the dentist. As a child, I would swish water between my teeth and make many bubbles.
            Take a look at Lauren Bacall. She became a famous model and she has a gap between her teeth. I would think that when I am a famous author (okay – it is a stretch) that I could be compared to her. She is a freethinker. She has traveled and experienced the world. She is not afraid to try new adventures. The way I see it, I am in good company.
            I think having a gap between my two front teeth is a good thing. I’m just wondering how to put a compliment spin on it. Let me try this: the gap between my two front teeth has been a positive element in my life. Okay - it works for me.
           Even the French -- those ever chic folks -- they call the gap tooth thing: dents du bonheur- LUCKY TEETH

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.
 16. I am a faithful friend.
 17. I am a fair person.
 18. I make the best damn fried chicken ever!
 19. I am not afraid of admitting I’m wrong.
 20. The gap between my two front teeth is a positive thing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 19

             Today is Day 19 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge and it is countdown time, only TWO more days of the stories on compliments!
            Today I will compliment myself on not being afraid of admitting that I am wrong. I can eat crow. I can admit that I am wrong. I can admit that I hastily made a wrong decision. I just cannot think of something off hand to write about. Instead of leading anyone to believe I am close to perfect (just read my list), I will say that lately I have not been in a situation to make a wrong decision and therefore have to admit I was wrong. It's not that it hasn't happened, I just can't think of any right now (must have blocked them all out.) 
          Nevertheless, I assure you that I have no problem saying, “I was wrong. I am sorry.” (Notice I did not say, “You were right.”) Now, give me a break I am only human.

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.
 16. I am a faithful friend.
 17. I am a fair person.
 18. I make the best damn fried chicken ever!
 19. I am not afraid of admitting I’m wrong.

Friday, January 28, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 18

             Today is Day 18 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge and it’s countdown time; only three more days of the stories on compliments!
            The last few stories and compliments have been on the long side. Today is short and sweet or should I say savory, and all about fun. My compliment to myself today is I make the best damn fried chicken you have ever eaten. If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband!

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.
 16. I am a faithful friend.
 17. I am a fair person.
 18. I make the best damn fried chicken ever!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 17


            Today is Day 17 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge, only four more days of the stories on compliments!
            Seems like just when I think I do not have anything to compliment myself on, something happens during the day. Today was no exception.
            I have arthritis in my hands and today was my checkup with the doctor. Before and after my doctor’s appointment, I had very irritating conversations with the person in billing at Ochsner Hospital.
            For almost a year now, every bill I receive is incorrect. Who has not had that happen? So, every doctor visit I pay the co-pay, it is then incorrectly applied and I receive a bill. Every month I call the billing department, sit on hold for an unbelievable amount of time, speak to someone who just cannot figure out what happen, explain to them how to take the $3 here and the $2.50 from there, etc. and add it all up. Amazingly enough, the total equals the amount of the co-pay, which was not fully credited. (Now, keep up.) Once the light bulb goes off in their itty bitty heads (the electricity shortage – that’s me – turning on light bulbs,) they put the credits in the correct place and then re-bill the insurance company and (hello) the bill gets paid in full. No, this compliment is NOT about being patient. Remember, I am not a patient person.
            Today, after speaking to someone very nice and very helpful, I was directed upstairs to deal with Attila the Hun. She was a bully. I do not like bullies. She made me mad. Does she know she made me mad? Probably not, but when she finds out about the complaint being filed against her, she will figure it out.
            This person thought she was going to bully me into paying something I did not owe (and I truly do not.) I do not think she has ever come across anyone like me before. The story goes like this:

            Donna walks into woman’s office and greets woman. Woman greets back. Woman sits. Donna sits. Donna explains problem. Donna also informs her that the hospital is still billing last insurance company even though we have had a new insurance company for six months. Woman acknowledges this and corrects information in the computer. Woman then says that they will bill correct insurance company and the bill will be resolved. Woman then says her computer shows an unpaid balance from November 2009.
            Woman prints out information and immediately and forcefully tells Donna that she cannot have a copy of the information, she can only “look” at the information. Woman says that Donna owes a balance of $25.00 from the office visit. A quick glance at the paper (that Donna cannot touch) shows Donna that the co-pay was divvied up among other charges and needs to be correctly applied. Woman tells Donna that she must prove that Ochsner did not code the bill correctly. Woman asks if Donna has proof that she paid the co-pay. (If you are still with me –this is where it gets good.) 
           Donna smiles and tells woman that she does indeed have proof. Donna reaches into folder on lap and thumbs through it (all documents are filed in dated order) until she gets to November 2009. Imagine look on smug woman’s face when Donna pulls out “proof.” Not only did Donna have the appointment letter, but also the paid receipt, the debit card receipt, and a recount of the doctor visit all nice, typed up, and stapled; wiped that smug look off bully’s face real quick. The moral of this story will be you DO NOT bully an organized person because you cannot win. We will not bully you back; we will document you to death.

            This woman tried to bully me into paying when I did not owe any money. I can only imagine how many little old ladies or little old men that she has done this to; people who do not save their receipts or people not like me (no dirty names please.) That just makes my blood boil. My situation has not been resolved yet, but it will be. I have another appointment on Tuesday and the billing office is on my To-Do list along with visiting the billing manager who has yet to call me.
            I may not be remembered for anything else, but I will be remembered for my fairness. And, that is what I am complimenting myself on today. I am a fair person and I will fight for fairness in any situation. It does not matter who, what, where, or when.

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.
 16. I am a faithful friend.
 17. I am a fair person.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 16

       Today is Day 16 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. If I did my math correctly (I used a calculator,) that means I only have to make it through five more days!
       We all have friends whom we only talk to a few times a year but remain those steadfast friends they always were. One of those for me is Bev.
       Bev is a ghostwriter and sometimes I believe she is the ghost in ghostwriter. She pops in here and she pops in there. You are never quite sure when or where she’ll pop up next. However, there’s one thing about Bev I do know, she is a wonderful friend. She is also a fantastic writer. If you are up for a laugh, check out her blog at http://onemoretimebev.blogspot.com She hasn’t been there for a while now (remember, the ghost thing) but the great stories are still there.
       Bev and I usually have a once a month quick meeting of the minds via email; but, for the most part, she’s been out of pocket for the past few months. She is on a journey of her own right now. She does keep up with my blog (I think I force my friends to by constantly asking them what they thought of my last post) and she added that I was a “faithful friend, even to the silent and dormant.”
       I guess this is true because when too much time passes and I haven’t heard from those important people in my life, I go ghost hunting. Since I was thinking of Bev, my compliment for Day 15 is I am a faithful friend. Now---it’s time to go ghost hunting!

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.
 16. I am a faithful friend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 15

       Today is Day 15 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. Looking for a compliment to help me along in my blog today, I came across my friend Pamela’s post.
       Pamela said I exuded a zest for life. I never thought of myself that way and then I received another compliment from an old school chum (sorry Marlene) who told me to keep on singing, that she loved the story.
       This is the blog from my Face Book page she was referring to:

         This one's for the girls....Found out how to send the neighbors screaming for the peace and quiet of indoors! I just found out how to download music to my MP3 player! I sang up and down the driveway this am. Don't really know how loud I was singing but the dogs were howling so it must have been so good they sang along! ....who love with everything they have...

       Of course, among the comments was one of my sisters disowning me (I am pretty sure she was joking because I’ve done worse and she’s still hanging around) but on an upside, my school chum (being of sound mind AND my age) told me to keep on singing.
       It started me thinking (seems I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately) that if others see me this way, maybe there’s something to it. I thought about how happy I felt just walking up and down the driveway singing at the top of my lungs (so my husband informed me - picture Julia Roberts in the tub scene in Pretty Woman. He’s just lucky I wasn’t dancing too. I was very inspired) and how good it felt. If I bring a zest for life into other’s lives, then I think I need to also do that to my own life.
       If you’re looking for me, you can find me out walking and singing (and possibly dancing.) Next up on my playlist is Independence Day! Bye! Oh! My compliment for Day 15 is I bring to the table a zest for life.

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.
 15. I have a zest for life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 14

        Today is Day 14 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. Day 14! Can you believe I’ve made it this far? I am over half way into this challenge. I have to admit, it is only with the help of everyone around me that I have been able to accomplish this feat.
       Today’s compliment comes from my daughter, Katie-Beth. She’s been keeping up with my blog and suggested that I should add being a good writer to my list of compliments. I thought at first that it would be quite presumptuous of me to proclaim myself a good writer. My second thought was who cares? My daughter told me she thought I was a good writer and that is good enough for me.
       Today, on Day 14, I am giving myself the compliment of being a good writer and, presumptuous or not, that’s that!

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.
 14. I am a good writer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 13

       Today is Day 13 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge.
       When my daughters were little, I made smocked and French lace dresses for them. It was a craft where I excelled and the joy on my little girl’s faces when I presented them with a new dress and matching hair bow never failed to warm my heart.
       I remember when Katie-Beth was four years old and I had just completed her latest treasure. She looked at the little dress and then at me with a puzzled look on her face. I truly did not understand where the excitement had disappeared to until she asked me where all the colors were. At that point, I understood, and while stifling a laugh explained that since the secondary fabric had only two colors (green and blue plaid) I could only use blue in the smocked design on the green fabric. She was perfectly fine with this explanation and was just as quick to point out that she preferred her colorful dresses (but she still liked this one. She was never one to turn down a new dress!)
       Most smocked designs are worked with multiple colors of embroidery threads. On the rare occasion when a dress fabric has one or two specific colors, you need to work with those colors. At this point in her life, Katie-Beth had a dress for every day of the month and loved wearing each one. As she outgrew each dress, she would follow me to the cedar chest to insure that it was carefully packed away along with its matching bow.
       My sister, Rhonda, adored the smocked dresses and was inspired to learn the craft and created many dresses for her own daughters. Reading her comment on my blog brought back memories of her coming to visit, fabric and embroidery threads in hand. She always told me I had an instinct about picking unusual thread colors to coordinate with the fabrics. Following my lead, Rhonda was inspired to try her hand at French sewing with laces and she would tell you that her little girls had a sleep time wardrobe of eyelet-trimmed shirts.
       I have to thank Rhonda for the compliment of inspiring others. The compliment brought back many wonderful memories of collaborations between my sister and me. Today, on Day 13, I am giving myself the compliment of inspiring those around me. (Thanks Rhonda.)

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.
 13. I inspire others.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 12

       Today is Day 12 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. The wonderful daughter of a close friend who has been following my blog commented with a very sweet response that also included some suggestions for my challenge.
       One of her compliments to me was that she thinks of me as a creative person. She said that she considers me someone “full of creative ideas and that I could make something out of what seems like nothing.” I have (I think we all do) loved the experience that this challenge has given me. I am hearing from people who know me and then I spend some time trying to view myself through their eyes. If you have never done this, it can be an interesting exercise.
       We see ourselves one way and probably never even think about how others see us. Some of their opinions tend to be quite enlightening and not always flattering. However, since this blog is about compliments, and searching for the good in me, it allows me to focus ONLY on the compliments that that have been given to me.
       Having Pamela (see her blog @ http://pamelamarie.blogspot.com) bring that idea to my attention got my old stagnant brain to thinking. Lot of ideas started coming back to mind that proved her theory correct. I am not always the one who comes up with an idea, but I am a person who can take someone else’s idea and run with it making it better than you ever thought it was possible. And, I have done so on many occasions.
       When my daughters were little, the mother of a friends of theirs came up with an idea to use men’s white t-shirts to make little girl’s nightshirts. She simply added different colors of eyelet trim to the bottom. When she told me this idea, my mind started racing with ideas and before the day was over, my little girls had nightshirts, coordinating hair bows and socks to match in every color of eyelet trim I could get my hands on!
       I took the simple idea that she had and further embellished it. I added the eyelet trim to the neckline and sleeves and then sponge painted (this was way back when it was all the rage) each shirt to match the trim. I then added the eyelet trim to socks and topped it off with a little matching ribbon. From there, I made each of them a matching bow for their ponytails.
       I have to thank Pamela for this compliment because it brought back a wonderful assortment of memories that I had long forgotten. Today, on Day 12, I am giving myself the compliment of being a creative person. (Thanks Pamela.)

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.
 12. I am a creative person.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hurricane Gustave

       The people are gone, having long been ordered to evacuate; prized possessions stuffed into already overflowing car trunks and trucks. Family members crowd(ed) into cramped vehicles as no one wants to be left behind. All is quiet in anticipation of what is to come. And as Mother Nature has a way of doing, she creeps in quietly, tiptoeing as she sneaks in on us. A slight breeze, the still air, an eeriness that lets you know how all alone you are. The wind picks up and the leaves in the trees grow restless. You notice that the birds are gone and even the pesky mosquitoes have taken shelter from the ever growing ominous storm that is brewing.


       On Monday, September 1, 2008, Hurricane Gustav roars into south Louisiana in the early morning hours. With sustained winds clocked at 110 miles an hour and gusts of 135 miles an hour, South Lafourche is ambushed and hammered by high winds and rising water. Locks have long been closed and breaks in the levees shored up as much as possible. The parish is as ready as she is going to be.


       In an instant she is upon us. The winds begin blowing as though they are trying to chase everything in their path forward and the rain begins to fall as though everything in its path needs to be fiercely scrubbed clean. The few who have stayed behind make their way to shelter pushing doors closed with all of their might hoping to keep Mother Nature at bay. Darkness descends (descending) around us.


       In the midst of howling winds and rattling shutters, one(you) would not think that one could find peace. But looking out into the dark night, lit only by the occasional streetlamp, the outline of a pecan tree can be seen dancing and swaying in the winds, much like a child who believes that she is dancing all alone in her make believe world. The finale of the dance is as graceful as that of a ballet dancer as the top of the tree gracefully bows down to the ground in a final curtain call. A miracle dance in the midst of destruction; a glorious sight to behold. How lucky for those who are among the fortunate to have witnessed it.


       And as the winds begin to subside and light begins to show itself, we find the rising tides have engulfed our ordinary existence. It is hard to believe that the waves that once created hours of entertainment as a child or lulled us to sleep on a beach as an adult could venture in and invade our homes, flowing into the deep recesses of our houses, and then recede taking with it the hopes and dreams that we once harbored deep inside our hearts, leaving in its path, debris and ugliness and destruction. What was is gone.


       The people begin to return. The daily silence is punctuated by the beeps of appliances, once never given a second thought, as power ebbs. The noise of generators permeate the ensuing dark nights as people search for relief of circumstance, a normalcy of a former life, if only for a few hours. And as the power returns and we are finally able to look around and breathe, we begin to realize that our former lives exist no longer. A new normal must be found.


       As the sun and clearing skies begin to greet us once again each morning, a new normal begins to emerge. We sit on front porches and in swings under trees that Mother Nature failed to touch watching a slow moving caravan of out-of-state workers head north after spending an endless night trying to restore power to those who have been without for so long. It is as though the vehicles in which they travel sense their weariness and seek to lull them into a restful sleep. We watch as a faster moving caravan of rested men travels southward to replace them. Anyone who can help, does, for the human heart cannot bear for another to suffer so. And the sun rises higher and the day is a start to a new life for many.


Written: September 15, 2008, Published in August 2010
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

21 Days of Compliments - Day 11

       Today is Day 11 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. I was actually drying my hair this morning when my blog idea came to me. You know the saying, “just go to the bathroom and all sorts of ideas come to mind.” By the way, just what does that statement mean? Does the bathroom somehow act as a flushing mechanism for the brain?
       My daughter, Katie-Beth, a teacher, just posted another project on the site www.DonorsChoose.org . This wonderful website is open to teachers nation-wide to solicit much-needed funds for classroom projects. I have donated to several of her projects and donations big and small help to reach the total needed to complete the posted project. I urge you to visit the site and to explore it. It is important to feed our children’s bodies, but it is also important to nourish their minds.
       Everyone is aware of the crisis our government is currently in and my realization has been if we, as citizens, do not take ownership and responsibility for our children’s education, they will not get an education. Our children are our future. These children, not instructed properly today, due to lack of funds for classroom necessities will one day be running our country. My questions to you are, “Are these the children you want running the country? Are these the children you want making decisions about our health care?” Well, these are the children we are raising today, at this moment.
       I am fortunate to have many teachers as friends. With those friendships comes insight and therefore, responsibility (the saying - we are responsible for what we know.) Talented and gifted teachers are not made, they are born, and I was blessed to have given birth to two of them. However, even the most talented of teachers need classroom supplies in order to do their jobs properly and sadly enough, this is not the case.
       I have had the privilege of visiting the school where my daughter, Katie, is a teacher. I have had the privilege of observing her interacting with her students. She and I have had many conversations about her teaching methods and her responsibilities as a teacher. Katie teaches music, but she also incorporates a well-rounded curriculum into that one-hour music class. While teaching the children a song in a second language (2nd language,) via Smart-Board, she is able to teach the children where the country is located (geography,) the country’s customs, and the instruments they are hearing in the song. As in the case when we visited, she was able to show them a frog that was part of the song. Katie teaches the music notes (math) to the children and in following the music on the page, they learn the words (reading.)

       Many people do not realize the significance of music in a child’s curriculum. The children learn without realizing it and in a very fun manner.
       In spearheading a Back to School Supply Drive for the needy in our area, I have met and spoken with key people at the schools. There are many supplies that they can no longer purchase due to budget cuts; necessary supplies, supplies needed to teach our children. If a child does not have a tablet and a pencil, we cannot teach that child to read and write. And, in some areas of our country, it is just that desperate a situation.
       Therefore, when my daughter posts a project, I am very willing to donate and to ask others to donate. This is a worldwide website. Katie has projects funded by people in Europe and across the United States who visit the site and find her projects worthwhile causes. (The site is open to all subjects, not just music.)
       I have not forgotten about my compliment of the day; please bear with me, I’m just taking the long way around. I see a future where it will ultimately be our responsibility as concerned parents, grandparents, friends, and business communities to take ownership of our children’s education by supporting the schools and our teachers.
       Today, on Day 11, I am giving myself the compliment of being an education advocate, albeit in a small manner.

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.
 11. I am an education advocate.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 10

       Today is Day 10 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. I thought long and hard about what I might write about today. Being the private person I am I wasn’t sure if I wanted to allow my readers into an extremely painful time in my life. Since the rest of my blog has not been about holding back, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give myself the compliment of being a good mother.
       Today is my oldest daughter, Ashley’s, birthday. I cannot call and wish her Happy Birthday because she will not take my calls. I cannot mail a card to her because she will not accept it. I, however, can love her from a distance; and, that is what I have done for many years. Today is her birthday and I will celebrate the knowledge that she is happily married and the mother of two wonderful children. I will let that be enough.
       I have been a good mother, but, because I have often allowed doubts to creep in because of other’s opinions of a situation they knew nothing about, I have habitually doubted myself. But, we do the best we can in any given situation, at any particular time in our lives, and even though there are those, who may not think the best we do is good enough, we know in our hearts it was our best. That is a fact I must find a way to live with. I know that I was (am) a good mother and that knowledge gets me through the roughest of days. It is the thought that keeps me on track.
       Today, on Day 10, I am giving myself the compliment of being a good mother.

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.
 10. I am a good mother.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 9


       Day 9. Today is Day 9. Okay, that didn’t help to stir up any ideas. Let me try again.
       Today is Day 9 of the 21 Days of Compliments challenge. I think that this is the latest I have posted my compliment of the day since I foisted this ridiculous challenge upon myself. It’s taken me a while but I finally came up with my compliment. I thought of it about ten minutes ago when I was desperately wanting to lie down and take a nap (the Gilligan’s Island three hour tour kind as my husband refers to my naps.) I very much wanted a nap due to my early morning.
       On a normal day in the life of “me,” I have trouble finding a reason to rise from bed unless the sun is up. Today, I got up before daybreak and threw on some mix-matched clothes (well, partially threw on some clothes. I went to bed half dressed so I was ahead of the game) and headed out the door to pick up my two favorite little munchkins. We then came back home to settle in for a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and milk before heading out again to go to school.
       I deviate from my cherished sleep routine because of my dedication to them. And, that brings me to my compliment of the day, dedication to family and friends. I gravitate towards being a night owl so mornings can be pretty tough on me. Only my dedication could possibly roust me out of bed when it is still dark and have me on the road under foggy conditions.
       Today, on Day 9, I am giving myself the compliment of dedication to my family and friends.

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.
   9. I am dedicated to my family and friends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

21 Days of Compliments – Day 8

       Yesterday, my husband and I went to meet a couple of German Shepherds and view their puppies. I say this, because I felt if the mom did not take to me, then she would not want me taking one of her babies. Strange as it seems (only if you don't know me,) I have that idea in my head and it was important to me to have some type of report with the mommy dog. I wanted her trust. Turns out, during the visit at the breeder’s establishment, the mom and dad were both loving and affectionate dogs and both would have hopped into the back seat of the suburban had we just opened the door (and it was so very tempting.)
       I have read many articles about people choosing dogs that fit their personality, whether or not they realize that is what they are doing (makes you wonder about some choices.) I have loved German Shepherds since I was very young and I have remained steadfast in my love for the breed. German Shepherds, known for loyalty; brings me to my compliment of the day. I am a very loyal person. This may be the reason I find myself drawn to this particular dog. We share the loyalty quality.
       Just as a Shepherd is loyal to his/her companion, so am I. While my husband operates on the system of I will trust you until you give me reason not to, I operate at the opposite end of the spectrum, give me reason to trust you and I will. Admittedly, I am not quick to trust, but once you have gained my trust, you have my allegiance until you prove you should not, and in my world, that is the ultimate position. I say this because I know how deep my loyalty runs.
       Today, on Day 8, I am giving myself the compliment of having great loyalty.


My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.
   8. I am loyal.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

21 Days of Compliments - Day 7


       It’s Day 7. That means that I am one-third of my way through my 21 Days of Compliments!
       Today, I am going to focus on a second word that my cousin used in describing me. He said that I was tenacious. My first thought was how interesting a word to describe me. Since one of my hobbies is looking up word definitions, that is exactly what I did. I thought it would be interesting to address each part of the definition as it might pertain to my personality.
       The first definition I found for tenacious was a person who is determined or stubborn. They tend to stick firmly to any decision, plan, or opinion without changing or doubting it. I thought, yes, that describes me. I am quick to gather my information, process it, and then make a decision and usually come hell or high water, as they say I’m sticking to it.
       The second definition is tightly held, difficult to loosen, shake off, or pull away from. Now, this definition gave me pause. I must say that I am beginning to question exactly what he meant by describing me as tenacious.
       I found a third definition for tenacious. (Can you tell I love saying this word?) Persistent as in persisting for a long time and difficult to change, destroy, or get rid of. An example would be “a tenacious head cold.” I’ll accept this description because he knows how sick I’ve been the last year and because I am desperately trying to redeem myself here.
       Definition number four describes a tenacious person as someone who is able to remember many things. Someone capable of absorbing and retaining a large store of information and of recalling details accurately. Now, this was an interesting definition. I’ve known people who didn’t particularly care for my accuracy in recalling details. Ummmmmmm, someone is coming to mind.
       What I truly loved about this word were all of the synonyms I found in the Thesaurus. Let me provide you with a sampling of them. Stubborn, obstinate, resolute, firm, persistent, insistent, determined, steadfast, and inflexible. That’s what I’m talking about.
       All of this information left me with one MAJOR thought and that thought is, this cousin and I, well, we need to have a talk!


My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.
   7. I am tenacious.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

21 Days of Compliments - Day 6

        I was struggling a bit with trying to find things to compliment myself with and my dear cousin stepped up to the plate with a wonderful suggestion. He told me I had a good sense of humor. I started to think of how great it was to have someone tell me what they see when they look at me (a little ego boost when it's nice.)
        So, that's where I'll begin today. My compliment to myself is I have a good sense of humor. With that said and done, my mind took off with the realization that I actually do have a good sense of humor. With all of the "Lucy" episodes in my life, I really need the ability to laugh at myself as well as with myself. And I have in fact laughed myself senseless through some of my mishaps, laughing myself right into speechlessness and tears streaming down my cheeks.
       If you have been following my blog, you have certainly been privy to some of those "episodes" and please believe me when I tell you there are many, many more. 
       One of the funny stories that comes to mind every time I even look at a can of paint is the memory of my husband and I painting our house. My husband was on the ladder painting garage trim and I was of course, where I shouldn't be, underneath him painting the lower trim. He completed his section and was on his way down the ladder when I abruptly stood up. You can see where this is going. His paint roller connected with my head and the ensuing result was a huge mess!
        My husband wanted to know why I wasn't being more careful. My retort was simply, "How long have you known me? Haven't you learned by now it's your job to watch out for me?!" Of course, being the kind soul that he is, he pulled out a lawn chair and had me sit down and he shampooed the paint out of my hair (no easy task.) That alone had me thinking how long I would have to follow him around before I get in his way again!
       I actually don't have to plan mishaps, they seem to always find me first. With that written, I'll finish with I do have a good sense of humor. Thanks cousin!

My List:
   1. I am a talented organizer.
   2. I am a good baker.
   3. I am good at commitment.
   4. I am a compassionate person.
   5. I am an affectionate person.
   6. I have a good sense of humor.