Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are we slathering toxins on our bodies with this stuff??

Greg and I stopped at the local library this afternoon and I picked up a copy of a book called "Gorgeously Green". I have a friend who is starting a company called Posi-Pair, which tracks chemicals and labor in various items we use, so I've become more interested in this issue.

The book was more than a wee bit scary. I couldn't check it out since I'm not a native, but will place it on hold for my library back home. According to the book, a huge number of the chemicals in cosmetics are not safety tested and many are toxic. The author, Sophie Uliano, included a "red alert" list of seven items that are the most dangerous and often found in shampoos, toothpastes, mouthwash and deodorants.

So I came home and looked at our sink area. Sure enough, our Listerine lists FD&C1, otherwise known as coal tar, a known carcinogen. My Mitchum's anti-perspirant has aluminum, listed as carcinogenic, toxic and mutagenic. I will have to do some more research on other products.

She lists several options for safe deodorants - Tom's of Maine and Dr. Hauschka's.
She also lists a website called that allows you to type in a product and get a rating from 0-10 (0 being the safest and 10 having the most dodgy chemicals) and suggests you avoid ratings of 5 or higher.

The author also has a great website I just checked out called

A wee bit of frugality on a pricey vacation. And the results of a garden fanatic with unlimited resources;-)

As you might imagine, a trip to Hawaii is not a particularly frugal endeavor;-). We wouldn't have come at this stage in life is it hadn't been for my friend's wedding, but we're thrilled to be here. We booked on Orbitz and got a package deal for the hotel, airfare and rental car. Our friends belong to Costco, so the booked the trip through there.

The same friends like to drink wine with dinner (Sadly I prefer diet coke which is much less elegant). They went to the Costco here on the island when they arrived to get groceries and wine and then have been bringing their own chilled wine to dinner here at the restaurant (after the restaurant okayed it).

I got one large iced tea at the airport, then we also stopped for groceries and I got a box of Lipton cold brew so I have my morning iced tea and then sometimes a second when we go out and just bring it with me. We're lucky to have a fridge here and so we have ice.

We had the option of forgoing housekeeping for a $10 a day food card for their green movement and we've been taking that option. I also got our Hawaii book from the library before we came so we wouldn't have to buy a new one.

There are grills here at the resort so last night all six couples brought dishes to pass from the local stores and we had a picnic of sorts which was really lovely.
Though it looked intriguing, we passed on the most expensive entertainment like a helicopter ride in favor of less expensive tours. We will do one big tour on Friday called a zipline that takes you through some rain forests on a sort of cable. That will be wonderful.

I brought a lot of magazines for the trip from our free magazine bin at the library and since I had my computer, used the times waiting for layovers to update accounts with receipts. When you keep a closer daily tally, I find I'm more conscious of expenses.

Yesterday I visited the results of a woman with unlimited resources, a fabulous, fantastic tour of a place called Na Aina Kai botanical gardens. They were built by the ex-wife of the late Peanuts creator Charles Schultz and encompass 240 acres of tropical gardens, ocean beaches, an English maze, sculptures, etc. This place is unbelievable and I think I've met my match for garden fanaticism;-). She is still dreaming up new gardens and the place is amazing!!! It has now been turned into a public garden and she moved across the street, but for over 20 years, it was just her own passion and joy - how fun! And how kind that she now shares it with the world.

A very frugal sugar millionaire and the inside scoop on the white stuff;-)

The tour of the Grove Farm was fascinating. The man who built the plantation that eventually became what you currently buy as C & H sugar was named George Wilcox. He was incredibly frugal. He lived in a tiny home with a bedroom a sleeping porch and a small office and bathroom. When the porcelain soap holder broke on his tub, he just welded on an old sardine can. Nothing went to waste anywhere on the plantation.

His brother and his brother's wife and six children came to live on the plantation to help run it and they built a 16,000 square foot beautiful home about 20 yards from where George lived and the juxtaposition of lifestyles was interesting. He was at the time of his death one of the wealthiest men in the U.S., but lived a very austere lifestyle, possibly due to his upbringing as a missionary family's son (though that austerity didn't seem to rub off on his brother).

Ironically, I got the following email from a friend the same day I toured the plantation, though she didn't know I was going there.

I'm trying not to become too focused on this, but it has started to bother me more lately. Because we're traveling more I've noticed that the quality of our diet has suffered. I started paying more and more attention to how much added sugar my son was getting by drinking sodas. He won't drink water and milk isn't always avail. He will dring 100% juices if you can find them. I was at Taco Bell last night and decided to look at the nutrition guide. I looked up the sodas. My mouth dropped. Their smallest size Pepsi is 16oz. that is 56 grams of sugar or 13 tsp of sugar (12 tsp is 1/4 cup). Their 30 oz cup has 105 grams of sugar, 25 tsp sugar (24 tsp = 1/2 cup.). They actually have a 40 oz drink too! This has become a real battle for me. If he's already had a soda with lunch, I won't buy him a second drink later in the day . He thinks I'm a food Nazi. According to the guidelines below, it looks like an average 2000 cal a day diet should have around 32 grams of added sugar a day. One fountain drink blows this away. Then he grabs a yogurt (healthy right) and it has 27 grams more of sugar. I just feel like it's a losing battle. I've included some suggested guidelines below. I don't know how to get close to these without being a "food nag". There are "diet" sodas, but I don't like all of the weird science involved. Are you guys having the same battles with your kids? How are you handling it?

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 8 teaspoons per day of added sugar based on a 2,000 calories/day diet. That's 32 grams if you're reading labels, and about 6% of your total calories for the day. Sounds like a lot, but believe me... it's not.

32 total grams sugar/ 4 grams per teaspoon = < 8 teaspoons added sugar/day

A Happy Wedding Day!

Two of my closest, dearest friends and college roommates here for our friend Emelia's wedding. A happy occasion!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A bit of internal and external gloominess in paradise.....Is there such a thing as "vacation blues"???

I found myself quite gloomy and irritated yesterday and in the interest of meta cognition - thinking about how you think - a suggestion in a lot self-help books, I thought I'd explore it and see if any of you have thoughts or ideas.

It started with my own pettiness and ego, getting overly irritated with the concierge, and then having a hard time shaking those feelings - ego on my part all up in bristles. And ironically, on the flight down here, we'd seen someone get quite snippy with an airline person and in my at that point place of calm and good will, I turned to Greg and pronounced, Buddha like, "It's easy to be kind to others and in a good mood when everything is going your way, who can't do that?? It's when things are not going good that you really get to test your graciousness and good manners." Or something to that effect. My own need to work on those very skills about to be tested. I think the universe has a sense of humor and likes to put pompous would be Buddhas in their place;-)

Now I was the one bristling and no amount of inner Buddha talk was working. We then found ourselves almost 40 minutes late for a tour that I had really, really wanted to go on due to starting out too late and a lot of traffic. Greg had agreed to visit the sugar plantations with me, though only for my sake and commented 30 minutes into the dive at my white knuckled ire that he wished he'd stayed back at the hotel by the pool. He was then added briefly to my "aggravation hit list" despite the fact I knew he was with me as a favor and had done nothing wrong.

We finally got to the place and they kindly allowed us to just go meet up with the group and pay later and it was a fascinating, wonderful tour, but Greg was bored silly, typing into his blackberry for a good portion. We finally got back to the hotel mid afternoon, took a nap and went for a short walk where we discussed a bit about our business and how it can sometimes add stress to our relationship. Then it was time for dinner and it was nice to see good friends, but I didn't get as involved in the discussion as much as usual, just feeling by now a bit blue.

So then it was midnight and I was feeling quite blue, despite being in this gorgeous place with Greg and two of my closest friends in the world and their spouses less than a mile away (we normally live many states away) and feeling quite lonely.

So what IS all that. I kept asking myself why I couldn't just pull myself out of that bout of blues. Why couldn't I focus on how blessed I was to even be here, to be grateful just to be alive and with people I love in a beautiful place? Today there's only a trace of those thoughts as I'm excited to head off to my three hour garden tour. Is there such a thing as vacation blues??? Input appreciated. Eileen
P.S. It does occur to me that at home I have a huge "support network" in my entire house of happy sayings and posters every where I look - in each room - and also a lot of books about thinking positive. They serve as constant gentle reminders to focus on the good. The only books I brought on the trip were about plant propogation and teaching kids to read - with nary a think well reminder in any place I've been for over 72 hours - maybe that whole idea of marketing to happiness at home is really effective?

Hawaii - Day two.

Another beautiful day here! Hawaii is beautiful beyond words. Greg and I visited some historic sites today and had a lovely dinner with friends. At night, they light tiki torches and it's enchanted. Tomorrow is a 3 and a half hour garden tour, which no one but me thought was the cat's meow, so I go alone;-). Wishing you all a happy week ahead. Eileen

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hello from Hawaii

Hello from Hawaii! This is our first trip and I've never seen a place so beautiful!!! It took 19 hours from start to layovers to finish to get here, but worth every hour. The photos were from our balcony and from dinner last night - looking right out at the ocean. Wonderful!!!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 230 - Nightly Roundup

Now may every living thing,
young or old, weak or strong,
living near or far, known or unknown,
living, departed or yet unborn,
may every living thing be full of bliss.
Buddha c. 653-483 BC

Go forth into the busy world and love it. Interest yourself in life, mingle kindly with its joys and sorrows, try what you can do for others rather than what you can make them do for you, and you will know what it is to have friends. Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1805-1882
Kai and I hung out today waiting for Kirk to get done with school so we could go to Iowa for their spring break at the farm. Kai did some serious "Pampers Art" and had a good time "helping" with the laundry by making the basket in to his own personal boat. Tomorrow morning we head to Hawaii - hurrah!!! Can't wait to see my friends, spend a lot of time with Greg, and study the plants, birds, and flowers.

Marriage - check
Parenting - Kai and I had some quality time today and Kirk and I enjoyed listening to several tape stories on the drive to Iowa - Kai fell asleep. I've become a huge fan of the books on tape as they have wonderful readers, encourage a lot of thinking (we listened to one on the solar system) and improve vocabulary - all while the mini-van is eating up miles on the road;-).
Business - Nada
Book - Nada
Health - Will do cardio tonight.
Gardening - When I got back, it was still light out so I spent about an hour wheeling leaves and sticks and generally tidying up. I loved seeing the various flowers starting to pop up. Likely when we return there will be daffodils blooming.
Spirit - Really realized how blessed I was to have such wonderful inlaws, who are crazy about our kids and always so happy to have them stay. I have no doubt Greg is such a great guy because his mom and dad are truly wonderful. Also listened to a good tape on the drive back about integrity.
FI - Packed a brown bag supper that I ate on the drive back - saving about $6.50 at Subway, my usual dinner when I make that drive.
House - Still tidying up. We get back Easter morning, on a red eye flight and both sides of our family arrive at 1 p.m. for Easter lunch - wish us well;-).
Bus. Vocab - nada

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 231 - Nightly Roundup

Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one's level of aspiration and expectation. Jack Nicklaus

All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do. Norman Vincent Peale

Marriage - Check.
Parenting - Kai and I worked on some puzzles and Kirk and I made shapes out of toothpicks and raisins as part of his math homework. In the picture above you can see the SRA Your Reading Power that Kirk and I have been working through. We are to the 32 story and he loves the stories and I am astounded to see how his comprehension is coming along. It is a really good program. I got it at a thrift store for $2 - a true bargain!!!
Business - Got a second answer to the ad for video taping and hope between the two, one of the will work out. One is actually a student of film and has done editing so that would be great.
Book - Spent a solid hour with my writers today at the University and their stories and writing are really coming along. It's fun to watch it take shape. We run into various problems with characters and plot lines and how much license to take with history. I gave each their 10 library books, but in the interest of time - hoping to have Jack's first book done by end of April to start the editing process, Adam is going to leave Lewis and Clark for a few weeks and just focus on getting as much historical research as possible to give authenticity to the story. The first of the Revolutionary trilogy is the battle of Concord and Lexington, which includes Paul Revere's ride. We will probably have the first chapter on the company website at some point.
FI - I'm not sure how this counts, but I had my car in for its 90k check up - something I rarely do but it had a bit of a wobble. So it turns out the brakes needed work, the tires aligned, the timing belt was due for replacement, and it needed an oil change - all for $758 - Yikes! But hoping this will get me through the next 60k miles with just oil changes.
Garden - In the picture you can see my cannas all planted in and set under florescent lights in the basement. It would be fun if the leaves were breaking the surface when we get back from our trip.
Health - Personal training session with my friend. Two more to go.
Spirit - Listened to a good tape on attitude on my drive home. It had a good point that the concept, "I'll be nice to people if they are nice to me" puts you always in a reactive mode as opposed to setting the tone and being proactive.
House - Could use some major tidying up tonight, but that may have to wait until tomorrow. I don't know how we get so messy so fast??!!
Bus. Vocab - joint venture, variable cost, forward outright rate, banner

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 232 Nightly Roundup

To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun? Katherine Graham

Do one more thing at the end of the day and at the end of the year you'll have done 365 more things. Richard Pratt

Kirk was home sick today, so he went with me to my hair appointment and rested on a couch. It was my last chance to get in before the Hawaii trip, so I'm not sure that makes me the most sensitive mom, but he seemed okay with it;-).

Marriage - Sorry Greg - didn't get anything in today....
Parenting - Kirk's teacher conference was last night and she said he was doing well at everything and excelling at reading. The goal is a level 2 at that stage in kindergarten and he is at a level 6, independent reading, so it was nice to know all those nights of rhyming cards and letter sounds made a difference;-). His speech teacher said there's not much we can do about his speech at this point until his teeth grow in - he has a sort of lisp with s/sh/r/th sounds.
Business - A person applied for the video job that sounds like he could do it, so I emailed him tonight to see if he might be able to meet tomorrow briefly.
Book - Nada.
Garden - nada
Spirit- Had some friends over for a pizza/cupcake party after swim lessons and we all had a good time.
Health/beauty - Hair is blond again - thanks to a lot of bleach;-).
FI - I bought a new math/numbers game for the astounding price of $32 for Kai. I was looking at our games and realized the most we generally pay was $1. The others you see here were 25 cents and 40 cents. So I'm pretty cost conscious here as I can find a lot of great educational games at thrift stores. But I'd been doing a lot of reading about math and numbers and how size and texture matter a lot to young children, so I decided to spring for the German Haba game and have found it's worth it. Kai loved playing with the numbers and putting them in different order and even using them to count along with his favorite story "Seven Little Rabbits" choosing the number that would go along with each page. I think all these games really make a difference - sort of private tutoring for pennies;-). Way cheaper than college tuition....
House - Is very, very clean - did a cleaning - it's always easier to clean when you're having company.
Bus. Vocab. Nada.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 233 - Nightly Roundup

You can do or be whatever you want in life. Nothing can stop you, except your own fears. Don't blame anyone have the power to make the decision. Just do it. Nola Diamatopoulos

My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's but my own doing. I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice, my responsiblity. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny. Elaine Maxwell

Marriage - check
Parenting - Had a fun time outside on the driveway - enjoying the weather. Kirk is working to stop using training wheels.
Business - Got a suggestion from a computer expert to use something called WuFoo for our discussion forums for our company website and passed these along to the student who is building it.
Book - Nada
FI - Arranged to have a neighbor kid watch Brandi while we're gone as he's on spring break. This will save about $200 over a kennel and I think Brandi will get a lot more attention and our neighbor is thrilled to earn some cash for summer.
Spirit - Positive thinking tape in the care
Health - 30 cardio
Garden - nada
House - lots of tidying up.
Bus. Vocab - governance, transfer price, sawbuck, cashless exercise.

Day 234 - Updated this morning

We should never let our fears hold us back from pursuing hopes. John F. Kennedy

Look at your life as a beautiful fabric woven from wonderful rich colours and fine cloth. Make a plan, one that is full of obtainable goals for a happy life. Read through the plan daily so that it becomes a permanent part of your thought process. Sara Henderson - Australian outback station manager and writer.
I was talking to my very dear friend, who is my age, and about to be married in Hawaii. We were talking about having kids. She is excited to start her family, and I very, very, very dearly hope to have a third child. As we were talking, she told me about some research that makes the numbers for that seem at first glance very unlikely - due to age, etc. and for a bit, an overwhelming flood of sadness was there. And a bit of hopelessness too. But I reminded myself that our thoughts are our lives and I could dwell in the positive or the worry and managed to choose the positive. I find myself more able to do this all the time.

I read recently something to the effect, "Our thoughts are not our friends". The author was talking about the enormous number of thoughts we have that are fear, worry, anger, negative talk about ourselves, our bodies, our appearance, etc. His conclusion was that if we had a friend constantly chatting all this negative stuff at us all day, we'd quickly decide we didn't want to hear it and run the other way. I think there's some truth to that. Fortunately, we can make our thoughts into the most positive, encouraging, wonderful, upbeat friends we could ever wish for and then you've got in your head a wonderful source of constant support and encouragement and humor. So I wish for each of you today thought choices that dwell on the good!

Yesterday was productive.

Marriage - check.
Parenting - I put up a numbers chart for Kai, who has his alphabet down pat but finds numbers tricky. We went for a long walk in the woods and the neighbor took off the ladder to an old tree deer hunting stand that I was worried about the kids climbing.
Business - I had a two hour meeting with our manufacturing consultant and gave him the odds and ends I had collected to use as models. I'll be excited to hear estimates of prototypes.
Books - Got 10 children's books of the Revolutionary War and 10 of the Lewis and Clark trip from the library and hope these help my writers study the pictures and add more sense details to their writings - more details on how things looked, sounded, smelled, etc.
Health - Did my 30 minutes of cardio.
Spirit - Got four books of positive sayings at a thrift shop.
FI - We usually eat out at Noodles after swim lessons and this week I picked up extra pie crust to make pizzas here at home and cupcakes to have a little party and save money.
Garden - Got some plant food to start feeding my geraniums.
House - Have been having Kirk tidy up his room before bed so he can wake up to a clean room - some success with this.
Bus. Vocab. Security interest, red herring, bull market, contract for differences

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 235 - Nightly Roundup

Awoke to a very, very messy house and a very, very cranky mood;-). Greg and the kids went to church while I spent the next four hours cleaning and getting groceries and muttering and keep a clean house, we've GOT to have less clutter!!! So I went about and filled our large trash bags of donations and dropped them off on the way to the grocery store, allowing a path through the basement play area to the water softener for the plumber who is supposed to come tomorrow. As always, as the house became more tidy, my mood improved;-).

I also finalized the first play set, which will accompany the Revolutionary War series. It will have American and English soldiers, a big play mat that will show the first major battles - including Lexington and Concord, cannons, a fort, a bridge, horses, about 6 of the characters will be jointed and the rest still figures. The ones in the photo are models to give to the manufacturing consultant I meet for coffee tomorrow to get a first ball park estimate.

Marriage - check.
Parenting - Went to a park with the kids and Kirk's friend for some baseball and swing set fun.
Business - Finalized play set for initial cost estimates.
Books- Will read a book on the Revolution tonight. Going to the library later this week to get 10 kids books on the Revolutionary War and 10 on Lewis and Clark for my writers to study the pictures. I'm hoping this will aid them in adding more sensory details - sights, sounds, smells, touches -that the main characters experience.
Garden - Paid Kirk and his friend $2 each and some gummy bears to help pick up sticks and haul them to the brush pile. They did a good job.
Health - Kept reasonably good track of my calories today. I'd read an article where a famous singer, whose name I forget as I type, said she'd kept a food diary for three years and that more than anything helped her with maintaining her ideal weight.
Spirit- Seeing the daffodil foliage starting to sprout all over the yard - I easily have 5000 bulbs at this point - each one planted by moi, is a joy! Have been doing a better job calling my mom every few days. I know that she gets rather lonely as my dad still works a lot - now at his farming hobby.
FI - We've switched to mostly organic everything and this has added a lot to our grocery bill. Today, along with paper products and some odds and ends - mailing tape, our bill was $160. Need to further work on reducing waste. I couldn't help but notice some people were shopping with just a hand basket! They might go more than once a week, but my loaded down cart seemed ridiculously overdone in comparison.
House - Happy to have several large garbage bags less stuff!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 236 - nightly Roundup

Spent the day in Chicago. We visited a friend in the hospital and went to the Shedd Aquarium. Our friend was paralzyed in an accident from the neck down and our prayers and hopes are for a recovery that will include one day walking again. If all of you could also send out good wishes and thoughts and prayers, they would be much appreciated.

Marriage - check.
Parenting - Will count the day's visit to the aquarium. This took a lot of time and effort, but I'm beginning to believe you make a good day, rather than have one, and that it often takes a bit of effort to create that good memory. But it all seems to need balance too. There were a lot of over tired kids and exasperated moms and dads - who were probably looking forward to a day at home tomorrow.
Business - I posted a job listing for a student to do some video taping of our writers' meetings to post once the website is up. I thought people would find it interesting to watch the process - a sometimes difficult and sometimes wonderfully serendiptous one of creating an entire story series.
Book - Had Greg read the current chapters aloud as I drove down to Chicago and did mental notes of suggested edits.
FI - Greg did a bit on taxes. Not a cheap day. Parking close to $30, lunch in the cafeteria - $38, entrance fees to the aquarium $65, driving costs - about 160, assuming 50 cents per mile as posted by AAA
Garden - Will bring in a few more dahlias from the garage that I potted up. Snow today so I'm worried it's too cold.
Health - This is a reaching a bit, but will count taking my vitamins.
Spirit - Visiting our friend and his family. His own courage and patience and grace is amazing.
House - Gathered a small bag of donations.
Bus. Vocab.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 237 - Nightly roundup

Running on empty tonight;-).

Marriage - check.
Parenting - Working a lot with Kirk's reading. He's making a lot of progress.
Business - Made a to do list for the weekend.
Book - Met with writers. We are making good progress.
FI - Dinner of roasted veggies. Trying to use up everything before our trip.
Garden - Will bring in the rest of the cannas from the garage tonight as snow is just starting and I think it'll be too cold there.
Spirit - Greg home from New Orleans - a natural boost to the spirit;-).
Health - Roasted veggies for dinner.
House - Did some decorating for Easter.
Bus. Vocab. - intercommodity spread, ECN, accounting entity, 453 plan.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 238 - Daily Roundup

It was a happy and productive day. I had breakfast at a cafe called Marigolds and took the advice from a book I was reading to make a list of 20 ways I could improve my marriage - be a better wife - and 20 ways I could be a better mom. It took a lot of thought, but it was fun to brainstorm. And Greg, when you read this in New Orleans tonight - just know I think you're awesome and hope we continue to make our happy marriage even stronger.

Marriage - check - will count the list.
Parenting - We went to the zoo and to a park and out to the ZuZu cafe for a snack. Other than Kai throwing a screaming 10 decible fit on the drive home - I can't even remember what started it, but it went on a good 20 minutes - otherwise, a fun day.
Business - Talked to the lead mentor from my Merlin Mentor group to schedule our next meeting.
Book - Made a discussion list for the writers for tomorrow.
FI - Passed through several shops today hoping to find some great dress for my friend's wedding in Hawaii, but didn't buy anything. I will probably wear something I already have.
Garden - Using floresent lights in the basement to jump start my cannas and dahlias.
Health - Met with my friend/trainer today. I have three meetings left.
Spirit - When I got up this morning, I did an exercise I'd read about and thought of 20 things I was grateful for before getting out of bed. Also had some good laughs with my friend today.
House - Will get out some Easter decorations tonight.
Bus. Vocab. - double auction market, negotiation, validity, inflation risk.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 239 - Nightly Roundup

Marriage - check - made Greg a dinner he really likes.
Parenting - Kai and I spent lots of good quality time together. He helped me with the mess in the back yard, we played bus, went to the library, and read stories. I've started picking up a lot of stories with cassette tapes as he loves these. One called Seven Little Rabbits, he will listen to over and over and today I saw him pointing at the words as the author was reading - not the right words by any stretch, but he was connecting that the letters were words and somehow matched to what was being said, so that must be good pre-literacy training.
Business - The marketing seminar yesterday stressed the importance of social media in companies today and I'm thinking in addition to a blog and "boy issues" links for parents to everything from bed wetting to bullying, maybe we could do some video clips of the process of building a company, starting with taping some of the writers' brainstorming sessions. So I asked the two student writers and the student doing the website if they knew another student in film that could tape our hour meetings and then condense it down to a few minutes. I would have no idea how to edit something like that, so I'm hoping we'll find someone.
Book - I wrote an email to my two writers today suggesting they look into network of other writers, especially historic fiction for additional ideas and feedback.
FI - Started gathering all our donation receipts for tax time.
Health - No bagel with Pepsi or breakfast;-).
Spirit - We're keeping up with our one kind act a day challenge and it's fun to hear Kirk's each day. He's always eager to share his and ask for ours. Sometimes he does a better job than his parents....
Garden - Wonderful day here - in the 60's - so continued to work on the back yard and potted up some dahlias - three clumps at $3 each from the Craigslist guy I got the cannas from.
House - Bought three small bouquets - 3 for $9.99 at the grocery store and put one in the front hall and one in each of the boys' bedrooms and this has been a big hit.
Bus. Vocab. - unilateral contract, basket, acceptance credit, analyst

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 240 Back in cyber space and just cooking along with the business;-)

Hello to all and apologies for the long absence. I've got my new laptop and am learning to use it. Things are coming along well for the company. This morning I met with the programmer we hired, a student here, who hopes to have our initial very basic website up within a week. I am being interviewed for a small on-line business magazine and I'd hoped to have some sort of placeholder website when the article comes out.

For lunch today, Greg and I meet with a Search Engine Optimization expert to learn a bit about this. My learning curve is steep, but essentially, we're trying to create something that will come up on Google easily.

After that I have a three hour seminar on creating a brand and general information on marketing in the new world of technology. So a busy day.

The kids are doing great. We went for a bike ride yesterday to our favorite fish pond as it was almost 54 degrees and sunny and felt like spring. Greg and I are also very excited about our first ever trip to Hawaii for my dear friend Emelia's wedding.

Garden thoughts are filling my mind lately as the weather gets warmer. From Craigslist, I bought 100 cannas - half red half green for $75 to put in pots and around the gardens to attract even more hummingbirds. We have one little green guy who comes back every year to dine on the potted annuals on the deck, but he is quite territorial, so I wanted to give some other hummers a chance. Spare moments are spent with my red wheelbarrow trying to clean up the incredible mess left behind when we had to have two hundred year old dead oaks taken down. Kai helped out last night for a bit - in his jammy bottoms.;-)

A friend and I spent Sunday walking for a charity and then the kids came downtown with Greg for a bit parade.

Trying to keep my thoughts always on the positive and what I'm grateful for to crowd out the occasional worries and this mostly seems to be working. Heard a great quote by Cervantes the other day - the road is better than the inn - and I'm working hard to enjoy every moment of this exciting journey.

Good wishes to all our you on your goals and dreams. Eileen