Monday, December 27, 2004

Blue Christmas

Christmas to you! And New Year, too! You see, we are not having Happy and Merry this year. It is just Birthday, Christmas and New Year. So understand when the greeting is simply, New Year to you!

I am so glad that Christmas is over. Late Christmas Eve, I had created a nice morning scenario, the house was clean, Riley was finally asleep so I could hang his stocking and the tree was the only light in the house. I experienced the strangest sensation of wanting time to stop, you know, when you have something that you know will come and you just can' t bear the thought of experiencing it? It sort of felt like what we all know to be the morning after you lose someone you love, either through a bad break up, divorce and even death. You wake and for just a split second, you open your eyes and it is just another morning.....until you remember what happened the day before and you start to hurt and cry with absolutely no control. All this while wanting deeply for time to jump ahead to Dave being home. My stomach actually hurt at the thought of going to sleep and waking up with Mason and Riley experiencing Santa together without Dave. Well, as you know, time stops for no one and I did finally watch the sunrise and waited for Mason to wake up. This is where parents with a spouse away have to buck up and make it nice for the little ones who don't know why mommy or daddy have a blue, heavy heart.

I had time to have coffee, shower and dry my hair and cuddle with Riley before Mason called me to come get him. We walked out into the kitchen and he could see "something" in the living room. I put him down and went ahead hoping he would follow so I could get some pictures and video of him seeing what Santa brought. Of course Riley has been looking at his stocking on the wall all week so he saw right away that he had goods! Mason was happily surprised and loved all the shiny wrap and big bows. The gifts were okay too, but I think the paper was the best. Hopefully I will have some pictures for you next week.

So now a new year looms and I am one of many millions resolving to get back on my fitness bandwagon. I have been pretty good through the holidays working out 4-5 days and week and only gaining a mere 2 lbs. I can only reckon what it would have been like without the work outs. Do you make a New Years Resolution? If so, what will it be this year? I hope all is well with you, that your holidays were warm and wonderful and you have a bright outlook on the new year! I really like this motivator and even if you do not usually read past here, take a moment today as I think this is a Great Motivator to kick off a new year with! Lots of love!

Kathy

Convincing Actions

The best way to convince people that you will do something is to do it. Promises can be broken, but actions and results cannot be denied.

The best way to sell yourself is to be yourself, without pretense, with sincerity and enthusiasm. Your actions are more powerful and more genuinely compelling than any words or mere appearances could be.

The best way to make a good impression is to accomplish something truly impressive. Focus on creating real value and you won't have to be concerned with what others think.

It's great when you do what you say you're going to do. It's even better when you don't need to say what you're going to do because it has already been done.

You don't need permission or approval to move forward on your own initiative. See a need and fill it, or find a problem and solve it.

Success is more than being able to wish, plan, talk, convince, promise and persuade. Success belongs to those who take action.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, December 20, 2004

Baby Signs. I Love Them!

Hi Guys!

Well, I just finished wrapping my presents but under my tree is still bare. You see, Mason does not get the concept of this program...or, he is simply my son and cannot wait to open presents. I think the new commercial running where the woman is opening presents in the living room and her husband comes in and shakes his head. She is looking up at in with that "hand in the cookie jar forgive me smile" on her face and he says "Wow, good job, you made it to the 18th this year" This is SO me! Laughing. Ask my mom, ask Dave, they will tell you. And then there is the one where the dog opens all the gifts until he finds the squeaky hamburger! This is our life. In any case, I will let Santa put them out for Riley and Mason on the 24th.

I had a great birthday party. A whole bunch of us met at Joe's Crab Shack in old Sacramento and had a wonderful time. We met Lisa Sulik's new beau Jeff and really like him. We celebrated my neighbor Paul's birthday which is not only the same day as me, but the same year, too! Mike and Patty announced their engagement (Hooray, Yeah, Yippee!) and it was a Merry time all around!

Mason is signing all kinds of signs with me, Finally! I gave up. I have been signing to him since he was 8 weeks old and finally figured he was going to be like many of the men I know and just not communicate beyond the absolute minimum required to get what he needs. Not so, it turns out... he signs, more, eat, all done, yes, down, up, good-bye drink and milk. He even did two signs together today, more and milk back to back. He understands more than he does but as he does more, he is getting his coordination together to do more of them and do them correctly. I am so happy, It is amazing how the frustration level drops when real communication sets in. He will scream and reach and I just look and him and say "show me your signs" and he will. It is very, very cool! Dave, I will be sending you a copy of the pages so you can learn the signs before you come home. You will love it, too!

So I have to get to bed, I have to be up very early to get to the gym and then the post office before I go to work. A quick note that Operation New Release is being extended with Tower through the first of the year. We will hopefully have some more sales for all the after Christmas shoppers. Take care and have a Very Merry Christmas! It will be fun to write next week and tell you all about Christmas morning. Love to you all!

Kathy

Acceptance

Resentment only wastes your energy and keeps your creativity suppressed. Instead of resenting what has happened, accept what is, and you put yourself in a position to do something about it.

You do not always get the results you desire, and conditions are not always what you would like for them to be. Yet you can always accept where you are and then move on ahead.

In fact, the fastest way to move forward is to be realistic about where you are. Accept and acknowledge what you have to work with, and you'll begin to see plenty of positive possibilities.

Acceptance of what is does not mean that you're giving in or giving up on where you can go. In fact, by fully accepting where you are, you enable yourself to make positive use of everything available to you.

By accepting what is, you can make positive use of the triumphs and the disappointments. By letting go of your resentment and anger for what has been, you can put all your focus on the best of what can be.

Stop fighting the battles that are already over. Accept what is, and you've already begun to win.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Christmas Rush. Is It On Or Not?

Hi All!

Welcome to Monday and the final sopping days before Christmas. For some, it is time to relax and enjoy all the cookies already baked, decorations hung and gifts all wrapped under the beautifully decorated tree. For others, it is not the final days until December 23rd! I am somewhere in the middle this year. My shopping is done, my few decorations are up, my little fiber optic tree is decorated with pictures of me, Dave and Mason and my baking is scheduled for the 18th when Julie can come bake and visit with us. I am also waiting to wrap presents as if I do them now, Mason will open them and I am guessing I will have to warp and re wrap them many times over.

Dave and I seem to be in sync with our feelings of loneliness and excitement. The holidays are a tough time to be without each other BUT, we are also both feeling the excitement of this deployment finally nearing its end. Once we ring in the new year, it is all down hill. I am sure the date he is slated to leave Iraq will change more than 100 times in the coming weeks but there will be a date. Right now it is March 8. We have tentative dates for Poobah and Mexico so it won't be long until we get to the business of living our lives. Rest assured there will be many parties in 2005. Two to make note of will be Dave's homecoming party and our anniversary in Nevada City. I think we may do it the weekend of November 11, 12 and 13. We can celebrate our anniversary and Veterans Day in one fun weekend. Just think replay of our wedding and it should be pretty clear the kind of fun we will be having!

I am sending out our Christmas card with a mini "Year in Review" letter. It is not really going to be a year in review as much as it is a prelude to the story of how we tried to get our Christmas card photo. Take a minute to read it and have a good laugh on us. I am celebrating my birthday month and am looking forward to wrapping this year up. Come on 2005! Have a wonderful holiday season and remember, it is incredibly relaxing to celebrate with the "Gift of Nothing." Lots of love!

Kathy

Time Is Now

Time is neither your servant nor your oppressor. It is your workplace.

The passing of time can bring you down or lift you up. It all depends on how you make use of that time.

Time always comes to you packaged as now. To make full use of time, you must make full use of now.

If you put your efforts off until later, time will keep the fruits of those efforts always out of your reach. Yet when you let your efforts fill the time of now, time will deliver great rewards as it flows along.

With time on your side, any dream can become real, any goal can be reached. The time you have to work with is now, and in now is the seed for the best you can imagine.

Plant that seed of achievement and real fulfillment now. And time will bear its magnificent fruit. Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, December 6, 2004

Visits Galore!

Good Morning!

What a weekend and a fine time to have to catch up two weeks! Let me just say about last week that Thanksgiving was nice. It was quiet in that we were home, dinner was great and Al came up from Alameda to see us and take some pictures. It was awful in that Dave was not here, Mason cut three teeth and cried all day and thus, the pictures were just that, crying. Not to mention, shooting me was nearly impossible with poison oak everywhere!

This weekend was just over the top jam packed! Mason and I left early Saturday morning to head to the bay area. We had a brief visit with my Aunt Jeannette and a "Stop and see" with my niece Tammy who is in Vacaville visiting her mother in law. We spent most of the weekend with Dave's mom and Colton. We went to a spectacular Christmas Party held in honor of families of CA National Guard soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was amazing. We boarded buses and had a CHP escort to the home of Earl Riggs in Pleasanton. He is the founder of AMR Ambulance (ironically) and hosts a party every year. Usually it is for families who have very little and may not see a holiday party. This year, he decided to honor us and honor us he did! If you live in the bay area, you may have seen the news coverage. We had people on the streets with signs and flags greeting us as we approached his home (that is another motivator all together!). There were dancing elves, face painting, live music, prime rib dinner, all the lighted decorations you can imagine, Santa and all the wives got a box of letters of thanks and $300 in AM EX gift checks. Pretty Amazing. Dave's mom and Colton had a ball and I think it made them feel really good to be included. Mason wanted nothing to do with Santa. He couldn't take his eyes off him while we waited in line but the idea of touching him, NO WAY! I held him and as long as I sat on Santa's lap, that was OK, just ok, not good, but ok. The picture is priceless. Sunday we had a lovely visit with Dave's sister and her family. We all went out for breakfast (Colton and Mary too!) and everyone got to spend some quality time with Mason. It was a nice weekend.

A quick update on ONR. It is not going so well with Tower. I'm sorry to report that sales are worse than low, they are dismal. Anything you can do to encourage your family and friends to make a purchase would be great. If you need an email piece you can send out, I have them. Any support would be greatly appreciated!

I hope all is well with you and you have a great week! I am off to the shower to get ready for work! I missed the gym today as I woke up with a "I think I did too much and didn't drink enough water" headache! I will get back to it first think tomorrow! I hope you like this motivator. I do.

Lots of love!
Kathy


Meaningful choices

Every action you take has consequences. That may at first seem to be a burden, but it is actually very empowering.

For consequences are what make progress possible. It is in the consequences that life's treasures are to be found.

Yes, many of life's consequences are burdensome. Yet a life with no consequences at all would carry with it a far greater and unbearable burden.

If there were no consequences, there would be no pathway to desired results. Without consequences, true achievement would be impossible.

Though some of them are painful, consequences ultimately point you in a positive direction. By experiencing consequences, both the positive and the negative ones, you learn which actions to take.

Though consequences can make life difficult, they also make it rich. For consequences give real meaning and value to the choices that you make.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, November 29, 2004

@$#%

Hi guys,

I have written this crazy thing twice and lost it both times due to some computer issue. I am also still dealing with my problem with Yahoo letting me send to this list. So with the new job and poison oak (yes, still!), I'm taking a week off!

Love you all!
Kathy

Monday, November 22, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

I am approaching the final sprint before I can take a rest. It has been a mad few weeks with Operation New Release and several other volunteer missions. On Tuesday, we roll out our Partnership with Tower Records for all of Northern CA and Reno. In case you forgot, Tower has decided to promote ONR and let people buy DVDs to send to our library in Iraq. They are also going to be donating all the proceeds from the sales to ONR. The promotion runs from November 24-December 25, 2004. I have attached a copy of the press release just because I think it is SO cool! I am certain we will be on News 10 on the 23rd and it is possible we could also be on Channel 7 (KGO) in the Bay Area. If you would like to hang a few posters, please let me know and I will get them in the mail to you!

Dave seems to be in good spirits. I think reaching the one year mark has been good for all of us. The holidays I am sure will have their challenges but we are just so close to the end of this deployment, that alone keeps us going. I mailed him a Christmas tree and some traditional holiday goodies.

Mason and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with Lauren and Julie on Tuesday and then we will have some company on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be three days of rest, play, walks and turkey sandwiches before I start my new job on Monday. Have a great holiday and since you all give thanks everyday, this day will be a piece of cake (or pie as tradition would have it)!

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

Kathy

*Note - the photo in this post is NOT my table! Just in case, on the slim chance you thought it was, it's not!

Being Of Service


Survival is acting in your own self interest, and there are times when that becomes necessary. Yet there is so much more to life beyond mere survival.
True prosperity comes from going beyond your own limited interests. The more you take into account the interests of others, the more prosperous your own life becomes.

Prosperity comes not so much from having the right job or having the right contacts. Prosperity comes more from having the genuine desire to be of service.

Think of someone whom you consider to be truly and consistently successful. That person has found an effective way to be of service.

The more valuable you can make yourself to others, the more value you'll see flowing into your own life. That holds true no matter what your circumstances may be.

Go beyond the mere survival dictated by your own narrow self interests. Fill your moments with service, and you'll fill your life, your world with real richness. Ralph Marston

from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Mason Is Teething. Ick.

Hello and good night.

That is an odd greeting I know. It is just the one that is the right one for me. I am pooped. Mason is getting big teeth and just miserable. We spend our whole day with him walking the house crying, coming to me to be held for less than 10 seconds, getting down, following me to anywhere I go, grabbing my leg and hanging and then back to walking the floor all with tears falling and the volume on high. As tried and tired as I am, I never seem to be angry with him. That makes sense logically but not emotionally. I was very glad that bed time came early tonight.

I am still dealing with my roof saga and for all those inquiring minds, Dave and I did not have the roof inspected before the purchase was finalized. It is poor business indeed however, we were working on very strict deadlines, many of the powers that be were not interested in accepting the Power of Attorney that we paid for and we signed all the final papers less than 12 hours before Dave boarded a plane back to Iraq. As trying as it is to deal with the roof scenario, we are still in a far better situation owning this home building equity even if we have to pay for a new roof. the final verdict is that we only need 1/2 a roof and I have someone to do it for me next weekend.

Operation New Release is going to kick off the holiday promotion with Tower on the 23rd of November. It is all good but there is a change. Tower will not be creating a web link so when I put this out to all of you outside of CA, you will need to get the word out along with my address for the ship to if anyone wants to buy on line. It is still a great way to support this project, you just have to have my address so the DVD gets to me and then to Iraq. the other change is that Tower will not be making any money form this promotion. They will be donating all the proceeds to ONR for more DVD's and shipping. One more thing, if any of you out there have the knowledge and resources to create a website for ONR, I can pay for the monthly on it but I need a donation of the creation of the site. It has reached a level that I think this is a good thing to do. Can you help me with this?

On a final note, Toby Keith is in town this week and Chris Teresi at Northridge Music donated a Fender acoustic guitar package that KNCI will have Toby sign to auction off for ONR. I am planning to go to the concert and who knows, maybe if I am at the right place a the right time, I could find myself backstage, too! I'll let you know next week! I like this Motivator, I hope it is as appropriate for you. Lots of love!

Kathy

Judgment

Certainly there are times when it is essential to exercise good judgment. There are also many times when judgment needlessly gets in the way.


Get beyond the need to make a judgment about every little thing, and rise to a higher level of awareness. When your energy is not consumed with constantly making judgments, you are free to be more positively effective.

Instead of contemplating whether the moment is good or bad, helpful or hurtful, accept that it simply is. Instead of fighting for or against something that doesn't matter anyway, simply live the reality of it.

Letting go of your need to judge does not diminish or impair your ability to make worthwhile judgments. In fact, when your judgment is an intentional choice instead of a habitual reaction, it becomes more meaningful.

Spend less time and energy judging and categorizing every little thing that comes your way. Enjoy how much more aware and alive you feel when you get beyond the need to judge.

Make judgment something you use wisely instead of something you crave endlessly. And free yourself to fully live each moment.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, November 8, 2004

Mason's First Snow!

WoW! I have so much to tell you that I just don't think I can do it all in one Motivator! It has been a very busy week that has culminated into a wonderful weekend. Where do I start?

Operation New Release is going to be moving to the next level. Tower has agreed to pick up my proposed holiday program to put signage in their stores (N. CA and Reno) to let people know they can buy a DVD to donate to ONR and they will get them all to me for shipping. Now keep in mind, there are 23 stores AND they will be making this available through a page on their world wide web site. I will be sending posters to all of you who live anywhere asking you to hang up as many as you can in local schools, businesses, churches, coffee houses, you name it! Even if you can only hang one, that is one more for a few people to see! Even more cool is that the posters will be printed with a photo Dave took of his guys holding movies gathered round their Humvee. They will also be accepting cash donations that will be issued to me at the end of the promotion and then I will in turn buy more new release DVDs for our soldiers! We kick off the promotion on the air first with KNCI radio in Sacramento, then off to a Tower store to do a press release with News 10 and the other local media and possibly in San Francisco with a family in that area and Tower. The promotion runs from November 15 - December 25, 2004.

If that isn't enough keep me busy, Mason got 3 more new teeth this week and we went to Truckee this weekend with David and Lisa Anderson. We had a blast! Mason had 3 "firsts" on Saturday alone. He took his first walk all by himself down the street in Historic Truckee, he clapped his hands for the first time while experiencing snow for the first time. The best part of being in Truckee was being with David and Lisa and being able to really visit. No schedules, or time lines, just whatever, whenever, how ever. It was just short of perfection only because Dave was not with us.

So Tuesday is our anniversary, 3 years already! Hopefully this will be the first and last that we have to spend away from each other. Dave bought me a beautiful diamond wedding band to replace the one I lost the day he got his orders. It is absolutely gorgeous! So I am going to try to send a picture or two of Mason in the snow. If you do not get it, it is because I am having computer issues. Have a great week and let me know how you are! Lots of love!

Kathy

Get Going

Don't let all the things you need to do get in the way of all that you're able to get done. Instead of worrying that it won't all get finished, get busy doing it.

Do yourself a big favor and put yourself into action. Even if you don't get it all done today, you can certainly make significant progress.

When you let yourself become immobilized by the feeling of being overwhelmed, what happens? You end up becoming even more overwhelmed.

The way to break the cycle is to step forward and take action. Even when the task is enormous, you're much better off moving forward than standing still.

Look at each task not as a burden, but as an opportunity to make a positive difference. Look at each task not with resentment and resignation, but with an eager anticipation for getting it successfully behind you.

In an instant you can go from feeling overwhelmed to being in positive control. Get busy, and get life going your way.

Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, November 1, 2004

Fall Back = Extra Hour Of Sleep

Well, I don't know about all of you, but I got this extra hour of sleep this weekend and I am still tired! It is 9 PM and I still have so much to do before I can go to bed, the least exciting being reading and deciding my ballot to vote tomorrow. Now, I know friends are not supposed to discuss politics and religion. You all know from Dave's previous e-mails that he has cast a vote for John Kerry. I feel comfortable telling all of you I am not voting for George Bush. I am also not voting for John Kerry. So, Dave made a point to tell me that if I don't vote for one of the main parties my vote doesn't really count. In fact, I see it more as taking a vote away from one of the two big guys thus putting a slight ripple in the water. I just don't want to feel forced to vote for a candidate I don't believe in and I don't believe in either Bush or Kerry to do the job that needs to be done. Enough of that!

I have been quite busy. Mason had a wonderful Halloween. He and I dressed up on Friday to do the downtown Auburn trick or treating. I was Cruella and Mason was a dalmatian. Mason was supposed to be a crab and I fully intended to dress him and take him to our neighbors homes to trick or treat. Well, Saturday we went to a party and again he was a dalmatian and I went as "MOMMY: An Army Of One." I wore Dave's fatigues with a binky attached to my lapel and dirty burp cloth over my shoulder and butt paste in my pocket in addition to the baby on my hip and his bottle in my hand. Now, this was the first time Mason became Mr. Social! He was visiting with everyone, playing with the kids, eating cheese and crackers and dancing with the grown ups....laughing all the way! It was a hoot to witness. With all of this, by the time it was time for the real Halloween, we were plum tuckered out. He doesn't like the crab costume, the wind is blowing and I am ready to hunker down and pass out candy. This he liked! The kids coming to the door and us putting candy in their bags...again, all giggles and grins!

So here we are at November one and I am ready to roast a turkey, celebrate the holidays, ring in the new year and welcome my husband home! Mason and I went for a long walk today and took pictures of the turning leaves. Next week will be equally exciting when we spend the weekend with David and Lisa in the snow in Truckee. I will be sure to include pictures of Mason either loving or hating the white stuff his daddy longs for! With lots of love, welcome to November! Enjoy the changing season and embrace your changing life!

Love Kathy

Changes come

You cannot know precisely what tomorrow will bring. Yet there is one thing about tomorrow of which you can be certain. You can be sure that tomorrow will be, in many ways, different than today. Things will continue to change, as they always do.

Life itself is a process of change. Night follows day, spring follows winter. Some things grow, while others fade. Styles change, markets change, opinions change, and through it all, life moves forward, changing from day to day.

When the changes don't go your way, take heart. For even the changes are subject to change, and if you're down, the next change can bring you back up.

Learn to weather the changes, to roll with the punches and to run when the wind is at your back. And as the changes continue to come, you'll move surely and steadily ahead.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Gift Of Nothing

Good Day!
So here we are wrapping up October 2004 and I am nearly finished Christmas Shopping. The thing that is so cool about this is that I did not simply make a list of everyones names and head out on a quest to purchase "something." I have been thinking with Christmas for the last month and come across some really special things for the people I love. I am making it a point to be thoughtful and if I find myself just buying any old thing so that I have something, I am opting out and putting it back. Tell me what you think of this mindset: We are all old enough now that we do not want a gift just for a gifts sake. In fact, I would rather not have the obligatory gift. I am simplifying my life and surroundings and a gift from someone I love comes with a touch of guilt. This simply means that I feel like I can't part with it even if it is not something I can use or want out in my home. Isn't it nice to get to spend quality time with someone you care about ...or something that is a thoughtful note letting you know you are special and considered a good friend? If any of you read Mutts, you will appreciate making this holiday season one to give the gift of Nothing. http://muttscomics.com/art/dailyarchive.asp?month=12&date=21&year=2003 Check out what I am talking about and see if we can't start a new trend! Mason would love this, after all, he is far more interested in a pretty box with sassy paper and a shiny bow!

Dave and I have both installed web cams on our computers and it is cool to see each other. We are looking at each other looking down typing and then looking up to see if the other is looking. If we do look into the camera we are looking at each other and all the communication stops. Frankly, it is quite comical! I held Riley on my lap and when he realized he was looking at Dave on my monitor, he went berserk! He was barking and trying to back away and Dave was laughing and growling back at him. Way funny! Mason seemed to get it too, but only stayed interested in Dave's image without flesh and sound for about, oh, 10 seconds.

Dave is organizing a toy drive for his village in Iraq. Most of you get his e-mails so I just want you to know, if you want to do this but don't want to deal with the mailing and post office, let me know and I will do what I can to work with you so I can do the dirty work! Dolls and deflated soccer balls is what they are requesting. Of course, the DVD drive is still ongoing so that is an option if you want to do something for our soldiers. Thank you Marcella for the dolls you gave to me for the toy drive, you were first to get in the game!

Next week, I will be sure to send pictures of Mason in his costume. He is all set to be our happy crab. It should be a hoot! I hope this motivator is useful and that you can view the comic strip. Have a great week!

Kathy

Reasons To Be Thankful

The more you appreciate something, the more valuable it becomes. By being truly and actively thankful, you actually increase and expand the reasons you have for being thankful.

Sometimes it is difficult to find anything for which to be thankful. Yet it is precisely at such times that a genuine sense of thankfulness will do the most good.

When the world looks bleak, being thankful may seem to be naive, wishful thinking. The reality, though, is that thankfulness is a powerful, positive strategy that can immediately change things for the better.

When you can think of no reason to be thankful, it pays to look more closely until you do indeed find a reason. For even the smallest positive thing can begin to change your world in a big way.

If you focus on what is going wrong, on the problems, those problems will consume your energy and they will grow stronger. Instead, give some energy and grateful attention to what is right, no matter how small it may be, and it will surely grow.

Look for reasons to be thankful. And you will find a treasure of real, lasting value.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, October 18, 2004

Better Late Than Never!

In the nick of time! I know it is late and with all I had on my list of things to do today, I am impressing myself that it is going out before midnight.

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Mason had his first haircut, we got new carpet, I actually got a night out with the girls to see a movie and have some dinner, we had a birthday party for Mason yesterday and he will officially be 1 on Wednesday. It is amazing how much more grown up he looks with his hair cut. I guess this is just one of many, many big boy changes to come.

The birthday party was way fun, even with the rain. Actually, it reminded me of our wedding day. It was a day of energy and excitement with the rain just adding to the festivities. I saw a movie for the first time since last December when Dave and I went together and I was wearing Mason on my chest in his Bjorn. Shall we Dance with Richard Gere, J. Lo and Susan Sarandon was schmoopy and wonderful. It is exactly the chick flick you expect. So off to bed I go. Take care and only 68 days until Christmas!

Lots of love!
Kathy

Touch life

Touch life in all its detail. Don't be content to experience life secondhand or from afar.
Get out and get involved. Experience the texture and the substance of living.

Don't rush through so quickly that the scenery is reduced to a blur. You'll find beauty in every direction if you will let yourself be still enough to see it.

Base your actions not on what will impress others. Do the things that will make you more fully and more genuinely alive.

You have special gifts to give that no one else can match. Life hungers for all you have to offer.

Dive in fully to the authentic experience of living in every moment. You, the world, and everyone in it will be increasingly blessed. Ralph Marston
from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, October 11, 2004

Back To Normal...If There Is A Normal!

Well, I started this last night and the phone rang. After a great conversation, I started it again and Heather came home. One final time I made the attempt and noticed the clock and ended up going to bed. So here I am and I don't have much time. Mason is very determined to feed himself so he is in his high chair with some pasta shells, steamed baby carrots and some fresh corn cut off the cob. The corn is what buys me the time to write.....one kernel at a time he goes! Laughing!

I finished up today at ATC and now can get back to spending my days with Mason. I will still have my mornings and intend to get my office caught up and the house clean in preparation for our holiday decorations. We will be celebrating Mason's birthday on Sunday in a small neighborhood gathering. I am making him an Elmo cake and I know it will tickle him. He loves Elmo!

Julie is on her way up and we will have a wonderful evening talking and hopefully scrap booking. I will talk to you all again next week! Lots of love and enjoy this motivator!

Love Kathy

Who You Can Become

What you truly desire is indeed possible. If it were not possible, you could not have the genuine desire for it.

Your true desire is not there to taunt you or to frustrate you. Its purpose is to point your attention, your efforts, and your energy in a clear, specific, worthwhile direction.

The desires that demand the most from you are the ones that end up being the most valuable. For those desires compel you to discover and fulfill who you truly are.

It is not easy to transform a desire into reality. And that is one reason you desire it, to encourage you to get it done.

It is not easy, yet it is possible. And in pursuing your most desired possibilities, you more fully become the unique and valuable person you are.

Listen to your highest desires, see them, feel them and bring them to life. In those desires you'll discover who you can become.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, October 4, 2004

We're Homeowners!

It is Sunday night and it amazes me that I know that. Have you ever had one of those times in your life where you have so much to get done that it seems like you are doing "something" constantly? Laundry, dishes, groceries, meals, diapers, pooper scooping, dog, cat, picking up toys (Masons and Riley's), work, Operation New Release, Stockings for Soldiers and on and on and on.....I know you are all answering yes as many of you are WAY busier than I can even imagine being.

Lets go to some really great news....Dave and I are officially home owners for the very first time! YEAHHHH!! The not so upside is that Dave had to return to Iraq just 12 hours after signing the final papers and is not home to enjoy the experience. We bought the house we live in here in Auburn and plan to be here for a while, build some equity and start shopping for a piece of property to eventually build our dream log home on. I have to send out big hugs and thanks to Lisa Anderson for making buying this house so calm and relatively painless. If you have any thoughts of buying or refinancing, you HAVE to give Lisa a call. You will never use anyone else again! (Lisa Anderson, Home Equity Link, 510-523-5300, www.home-equitylink.com). If she can get us in a house, she can get anyone in a house! Smiling!

Mason is walking more and more unless he really wants to get somewhere and then it is back to crawling at light speed. He is such a sweetheart. We went to a Kids Festival in Winters this weekend and he had such a great time playing the games at the various booths with Aunt Lauren....she is the best he told me on the way home. He said she plays the games he likes AND she makes a great hot dog bun! So now it is time to finish my Stockings for Soldiers paperwork (you'll be getting that very soon! wink!), make my lunch, fold the pile of clothes on my bed, set up my coffee and lay my clothes out for work tomorrow. Yes, I lay my clothes out. I have to, if Mason wakes up and I have to deal with him before I go and Heather isn't up and ready, I have to have everything ready or I will be late. Anyone know if they still make Garanimals and if they do, do they come in my size? Lots of love and have a productive week!

Kathy

Flowing joy

See the joy in this day, then give it away. And there will be much more.
Joy cannot be held or restrained, hidden away or saved for another time. Joy must freely flow in order to exist at all.

Get joy flowing from you and it will flow to you. With joy flowing to you, even more can flow out.

The process starts when you focus your attention on the positive possibilities, and on the value of what you have. An attitude of gratitude primes the pump to get joy flowing in your life and through your world.

See what is good, what is right, what is true. Let the joy begin to flow.

Then live that joy, spreading it far and wide. And it will flow with ever-increasing power.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, August 2, 2004

Supporting Our Troops!

It is Tuesday for most of you and very close for me! I am pooped but have lots to tell.

This weekend was jam packed with support for our troops. Saturday we met at Adventure Christian Church in Rocklin for a gathering of many people who brought care package supplies for Dave's company. There are about 133 men in this unit and we got up form the bottom of the list to number 63. Not bad. We will do another one in October for the holidays and this time we will make sure to have uniform, smaller boxes so we send out a box to every soldier.

Sunday we were at Country in the Park. This is a big country music concert in Sacramento where we were invited to set up a booth for Operation New Release. We didn't do much collecting of DVD's (which we still really need the newest releases, many of each!) but we did sell yellow ribbon car magnets and raised over $800! It was very cool We still have about 70 magnets to sell, so if you are interested, I have them for $5.00 each. This was Mason's first concert and he was a total trooper. I was wworkingwhile Dahlynn and Bruce really manned the tent and my baby. We made video of tthegeneral public sending messages to our troops and we hope to get it edited and burned to DVD to send to all the units and all the branches, not just Dave's. We even got messages from Julie Roberts, Restless Heart, Josh Gracin, Tracy Lawrence and Clint Black. It was a great day!

Today we are dealing with auto repairs ($1300! Yikes!) and stuff around the house that needs to be done. Mike painted my master bathroom and made sure Mason's swing was hung in the back yard. Other stuff too, but those were the important ones! I have also been confronting finances, (with major car repairs, you have to!) and that is enough to make anyone sleepy! So off to bed I go. Lots done, 1/2 the car fixed and a depleted savings.....I still have the love of my hubby who will be home on R&R the 20th of this month, a baby who smiles and laughs all the time and most of my health! Laughing! Have a great week and I'll be back next week!

Lots of love!

Kathy

No Official Motivator, too tired, must go to bed......very heavy eyes......sigh......

Monday, July 26, 2004

Learn CPR Before You Need It!

Happy Hot Summer Day!

Sounds like today is going to be 103 in Sacramento. Now before we all go "OOH and AHH" we have to remember Dave is suffering in full uniform in 130+. While you are out and thinking this is crazy hot, think again and count your blessings.

Just one day after returning to Auburn, my niece Lexi got here for a 5 day stay. We had a blast and let me just say, the extra hands with Mason were a great help. For her simply fun and play, for me, a HUGE help! We did fun stuff like thrift store shopping. We found some great things. Lexi got several pairs of jeans decorated with beads and studs and I got two really great pairs of leather shoes. On Thursday, we went to Julies where Lexi got to go horseback riding and Mason had his first Wrangler photo shoot. Yes, Mason has Wranglers and boots. He is looking more and more like his daddy! After the horses, we went to the Farmers Market where Julie and Lexi had a ball shopping. We wrapped up our visit on Saturday by cleaning the back yard and inviting the neighbors over for a Moonlight Picnic. We made a fire in the fire place outside and toasted marshmallows to make s'mores. It was a really fun time with Amy, Laura, Kate, Paul, Leslie and Sam.

This week is work, work and more work. I am planning to go back to work part time and Mason is getting a live in Nanny. I have to move my office, get the room ready, and Mason is still floating Tuesday through Friday. He is fully floating now all by himself and we are working on rolls and drop ins. So off we go to start a great week.

Before I finish today, let me say that if you do not know CPR and other life saving skills, please find a class and get educated. I had to do the Heimlich three times on Mason yesterday when a slough of Cheerios clogged his airway. I didn't panic but it also didn't work the first time. We did the front, a strike to the back, front and back three more times with several finger swipes in the mouth to get the cereal out. He finally gave it all up (and I mean all!) and we rocked and cuddled for a bit before he settled down. He will likely be pretty sore today. I know how to do this and plan to get my CPR skills current as soon as possible. I know this is part of parenting but just like everything, do it now, take the class. Don't wait until you need it and aren't sure what to do. With that, have a great week and I am sure we will have more wonderful stories next week.

Love Kathy


Get it done

There is something you know you must do. Yet you're worried that it won't be perfect, that it will be difficult, uncomfortable and maybe even painful.

You wonder what others will think of you, whether they might silently disapprove, openly taunt you, or even work against you. You worry that it could be more challenging and more demanding than you anticipate. Go ahead and do it anyway. The sooner you get started, the more confident and effective you'll be.

Sure there will be problems. And with solid commitment, you will find a way through every one of them. Of course there will be challenges. And from each one you'll build the strength to take on the next one.

Accomplishment is never easy, and rarely perfect, yet it sure beats sitting around worrying about how powerless you are. When you know you must, then get up, get going, and get it done. Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator with permission www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, July 19, 2004

We're Home!

Big Sigh! We are home.

Hi guys, what a great time away from home we had! I have to say, if Dave were home, I would likely not have considered house-sitting and visiting away from him for that long. So with that said, I had a FABULOUS time! It is one of those little bones that get thrown your way when you are in the game with a crappy hand. Let me see if I can't recap without writing a novel......

Monday I discovered the gym with child care. What a great invention! I am now shopping for a gym with this wonderful service close to home. I was pleased to learn that I am not in as bad a shape as I thought and I ran for 12 full minutes on the treadmill. The other amenities were nice as well, the steam and saunas, the whirlpool and the sun deck all in the ladies locker room with no clothes required! When was the last time you did a little time with Mr. Sunshine in the buff? Smile! We also had lunch with Al and a visit with Moira. Monday wrapped up with a much needed massage! Fran gave me the lovely gift of a massage and child care for Mason. How cool, we are invited to stay in their awesome home AND she got me a massage! Thank you God!

Tuesday was another date with the gym and then assisting Al with a photo shoot for Diana! What fun. After all that glitz and glamor, Mason and I had a great evening with Alice. Funny how you can have friends that you don't even talk to all that often but when you get together, it is like no time passed at all. I just adore Alice and Andrew!

Wednesday was back to the gym, running errands, lunch with Carole, a visit with Dr. Joyce, a great evening at the Chamber mixer and finally with Mason fast asleep, a glass of wine with Terry! We had some serious catching up to do too!

Thursday was our day with Aunt Lisa! Lunch, a little shopping and a pedicure. It was so great to be doing the things I love to do in the town I still think of as home with the people I love. Auburn will feel a lot more like home once Dave is here with us making the memories that make home, home. I did go to the gym, but sporting a fresh pedicure, it seemed only appropriate that I sauna and have that naked date with Mr. Sunshine. We went to bed early so we would be fresh faced for our date with Al Friday morning.

We met Al at 9 AM to take pictures of Mason on the beach. I wish I had another set of hands to have shot video of Mason in the sand. He loved it. He just sat there for the longest time rubbing his feet back and forth in the wet sand. He of course tasted it and then proceeded to simply play. It was wonderful and as usual, Al captured the moment exquisitely! Al, you're the best! Take a look at just a few of the great pictures he took. We took a little siesta and then met Georgia and Fiona for lunch and then to play at the park. This is the first time Mason was on a swing by himself. He really liked that! Those pictures next week.

And finally on Saturday, we went back to San Jose and had a great time with Dave's' mom, sister and her family. We enjoyed a nice lunch and then walked all through Santana Row, sort of the Rodeo Drive of San Jose. Not much there for me (too much $$$$$) except Ben and Jerry's!

And this morning we stopped in to see Alice and Andrew on our way home. They actually have a vineyard in their back yard and will be making wine! Not to mention the basketball court and outdoor kitchen under construction. Cool huh?

Enough already, we are happy to be home. For a motivator, remember what Zig Ziglar says: "You can have anything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want." I say "YESH!"

Love you all!

Kathy

Monday, July 12, 2004

What Day Is This?

Hello Everybody,

Here is something anyone who has gone from a "normal" working job to self-employment, vacation or unemployment has experienced. I am writing this on Friday night. It is about 8:30 and I was SO sure it was Monday night and I had missed my motivator. So as I selected my address book I had to stop and really think about "What day is this?" Laughing. I am writing anyway and just going to save the draft for Monday.

This week has been fun. It was quite the feat to get packed and out of Auburn but once I got to Clayton, Mason and I had nothing but fun. We went to the mall with Diana, I got to get away and get my hair cut (Erika washed it for an extra long time!), I had a grown up night out at the Boot Bar (AKA The Clayton Club) and we went to the Alameda County Fair. I will send you out a copy of the caricature I had done of Mason for Dave next week after I can scan it. It is priceless.

We got to Alameda today and are now house sitting. Talk about five Star accommodations! It is a really nice place and we are quite comfortable. We had lunch with Lisa and Bettie and got to spend a few minutes with Donna too. Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to San Jose to see Dave's family. They have not seen Mason since March, I don't think they will recognize him. I am sure our week will fill up fast. I am planning to make time to work out as Fran has so generously offered me guestship (I made that up) to the health club she belongs to across the street and it has child care. Up to two hours of someone watching Mason while I do whatever I want to. Whoo-Hoo!

I am feeling much better and hope to be on the road to a sexy new shape again. I can't imagine where I would be if this whole thyroid thing had hit and I wasn't working out so diligently. Yikes! I will finish this up on Sunday night like usual and be back on track for where I am in the week!

So here we are. Visiting with Dave's family was really nice except Dave's mom had a bit of bad fortune and was in the hospital until 4 PM on Saturday. She is OK, it was just a bummer that she missed so much visiting time with us. That's OK, we will go back next Saturday and try again. Today we went to visit my Aunt Jeannette who is loaning me her sewing machine and gave me a mini lesson. I really want to know how to sew. I will get on it when we get home and let you know how it goes.

Tonight is quiet. Mason floated for 20 one-thousands (that's one thousand one, one thousand two.....) and now we are just slowing down. I'm going to go to bed early if I can and start tomorrow at the gym. If I can only sleep a whole night through! Lots of love and enjoy this motivator!

Love Kath

The magic of kindness

Kindness is almost always bigger when it is received than when it is given. What may be a small thing for you to offer can make a tremendous difference to those who receive it.

Kindness vastly increases the effectiveness of your efforts. Even a small kindness can bring a big result. And a truly ambitious kindness can change the world. Kindness multiplies itself in a way that seems almost magical.

Those whose lives are filled with richness are those who know and understand the value of genuine kindness. Kindness is not a difficult thing to grasp or to bring about, and is freely available to all who wish to practice it.

Every day you come across numerous opportunities for kindness. Each one of them is brimming with a value more precious than gold.

Avail yourself of those opportunities to spread kindness. And know the special magic that kindness brings.
Ralph Marston from the Daily Motivator www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, July 5, 2004

Happy 5th Od July!

Hello, hello, hello!

Welcome to a new and short week. Our July 4th holiday had an outward appearance of being picture perfect. Mary and Keith's house was decorated beautifully, friends and family gathered around the pool in the backyard with Keith at the BBQ helm and all the kids (big and small) splashing in the pool. Mason was passed around so much that not even the fire crackers outside could wake him after dark. Riley was a little scared but sitting by Keith's feet, he felt safe as each new BANG! and BOOM! exploded, Keith would reach down and pat his head. I am sure since I was in bed, Riley was very grateful for the reassurance. We (I) missed Dave deeply and it made me even sadder that he is in such a "not nice" place. He called today and said they did do a BBQ for them but it is so dang hot, who wants to sit outside and eat hot food? Not to mention that it was not a real BBQ, just hot dogs and hamburgers cooked and served outside. I'm just so darn ready for him to be home enjoying all the luxuries he is protecting for all of us.

Mary and I watched Cold Mountain and 50 First Dates this weekend. Both good movies but Cold Mountain was really good! Renee Zellweger was amazing! If you have not seen it, rent it and sit back for some good story telling. I did not cry but I think that is because Dave spent so much time telling me I would that I was waiting for all the stuff that might make me cry thus taking the sting from it all.

OK, my boy is crying so I am back to mommy duty. No real motivator today so lets go with what always works: "Whatever you think, you're right!"

Love you all!

Monday, June 28, 2004

MM June 28, 2004

Happy Birthday to Dave!

Dave's birthday was on Saturday and some of us did our part to celebrate his birthday and honor him! Mary, Keith, Diana, Lisa S., Sonya and Paul all joined me up in Reno to see Larry the Cable Guy. If you don't know who Larry is, rent Jeff Foxworthy's Blue Collar Comedy tour and sit back for some serious laughing! We actually got to meet Larry and he sent us home with a video greeting for Dave and his guys. Happy birthday Dave, next year we will really celebrate even if it means that you go to the Nascar race with Keith!

Sunday was a very leisurely day for Mason and me. We played on the floor, took a nap, visited with several "drop by" neighbors, had a little dinner, went for a margarita at Bob & Ivette's and came home for a bath (one for Mason, one for Riley, and one for me) and bedtime. I've not been feeling so good so the rest is good. As much rest as you can get with a nearly walking boy 24/7! Laughing!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Mason and I will be in Clayton starting Saturday and then house sitting in Alameda through the 18th of July. I don't know what kind of e-mail access I am going to have so if there are no Motivators for a few weeks, just stay tuned for a duzie on the 19th or 20th! Love to you all and Happy 4th of July!

Lots of love,
Kathy

Feel like it

Is there something you know you need to do, but you just don't feel like it? If so, you can either avoid it altogether or you can force yourself to do it even though it goes against your feelings.

But there's a much less stressful, much more elegant, effective way. You can simply change your feelings on the matter.

After all, they are your feelings and they're under your control. And a great way to take control of those feelings is by putting them into words. For example, I feel like waking up a half hour earlier tomorrow morning and taking a walk. Or, I feel like swimming fifty laps this afternoon.
It seems deceptively simple, yet it works.

You can change the way you feel just by saying so. Repeat it silently to yourself with enthusiasm, or say it out loud to yourself, or even better, to someone else. Then watch your actual feelings fall solidly and authentically in line.

If you don't feel like it, that's no problem because that's something you can easily change. Start saying you feel like it and before long, you will.

Used with permission by Ralph Marston www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, June 21, 2004

MM June 21, 2004

Happy Day after Fathers Day!

This holiday was not as difficult for me as Mothers Day was but we missed Dave very much. Mason, Terry and I along with Melissa and her daughter Emily went for brunch on the Spirit of Sacramento and then to Laurens for a visit. It was a really wonderful trip on the river and Mason had fun playing rough and tumble with Laurens boys. Dave called us and said it didn't feel like much since he has not had much Fathering experience. I want him to know that we are very proud of him and he may not realize it, but Mason will know where dad was and will be as proud or more of him that he served his country and is making this huge sacrifice. It may not be apparent to Mason until he has a family of his own, but that's OK, we'll wait.

Terry goes home today and through a few "living with family" bumps, she actually wants to come back! It really was a nice visit and on Saturday when I came home from a day away, I didn't recognize the house I walked into. I actually looked back outside and asked "Who lives here?" Not only what my house spotless, but she did lots of it all alone with Mason! Talk about making me look bad! Laughing! I think having had this kind of constant help for a few weeks has prepared me to keep the house up and get my head above water. Oh, did I mention that lots of the cleaning that got done resulted in HUGE piles in my office! I laughed and said, "I could have done that!" I am very sure that all of this will be followed up with many calls to Utah asking "Where is my.....?"

Take care and have a wonderful week. Be loving and kind. No matter what, that is always the best answer. Try to spend just one hour today practicing Higher Thinking and let me know how it makes you feel.

Love Kathy

Higher thinking

As you move through this day, make it a point to replace troubled thoughts with thoughts of peace. Replace thoughts of weakness with thoughts of strength.

Replace thoughts of limitation with thoughts of possibility. Replace thoughts of anger with thoughts of compassion.

Let go of any thoughts of frustration and helplessness. In their place, put thoughts of creativity and empowerment.

Gather your various and scattered thoughts together, and point them all in a positive, productive direction. You'll be amazed at the power that's yours when each thought is working to enhance the others.

Your thoughts determine what you decide to do with all that you have. And you determine what your thoughts will be.

So put them to work in a positive way, moment by moment, day by day. Make them all thoughts that serve you well.

Used with permission - Ralph Marston www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, June 14, 2004

MM June 14, 2004

Hello, hello, hello!

Here I sit feeling the sting from sunburned shoulders and smiling still. Yes, we are now recovering from our annual Grand Poobah weekend. It was a wonderful time. There was an odd sense of something not quite right all weekend with Dave not there but his call Saturday morning eased that a bit. I hope we never have to do another Poobah without Flower Dave!

This being the first Poobah without Dave since he came for the first time in 1996 (this would have been year 9 for him), ironically was Mason's first. He loved camping and at bedtime was a typical little boy. Crawling and climbing for the door to the tent so afraid he would miss something. The up side to his fighting sleep so hard was that when he finally did conk out, he was down for the night. Anyone with kid experience can take comfort in the fact that eventually, they sleep.

I was not lacking in helping hands with Mason this week and the great thing about this is I was feeling so lucky to have the help, Mason was feeling lucky to be played with all day and all the loving hands were feeling lucky to have Mason to play with! Talk about win, win win! There was one downside to all this co-parenting...you see, Mason has teeth, lots of teeth. When a baby has teeth people think he should be eating real grown up food. Well it is all fun and games and funny faces until mommy gets him home and has to deal with VERY hard (and hard to pass) poops! Mason was not a very happy camper last night and a little into this morning. Thank goodness for Little Tummy's infant laxative!

So now it is time to get serious about taking care of business on the home front before Terri has to go home. Scrapbooks need doing, house needs cleaning, Packages need mailing, bills need paying, office needs organizing, Mason's clothes need sorting, and the list just keep going! First things first, I have to go get Mr. Riley! He is anxious to come home and Mason is as anxious to see him! Love to you all and I hope you enjoy this motivator!

Love Kathy

There are those T
here are those who say it can't be done, and are content to leave it at that. And then there are those who find a way.

There are those who see every setback as an excuse to give up. And then there are those who find the courage, the will, the commitment to persevere.

There are those who back away from challenge, and complain when it finds them anyway. And then there are those who eagerly welcome each opportunity to move the world forward.

There are those who prefer to do what is easy, comfortable and convenient. And then there are those who do what is best, what is right, as difficult as it may be.

There are those who bounce and skim along the noisy, confusing surface of life. And then there are those who dive deeply in, to where meaning, purpose, vision and truth are clear and unmistakable.

How fortunate we are that there are those who live like they mean it. How fortunate we are that we can too.

Used with permission - Ralph Marston www.thedailymotivator.com

Monday, June 7, 2004

MM June 7, 2004

It is finally here, Poobah week! I am excited to go camping but it is a bitter sweet excitement. This will be the first Poobah in 9 years that Dave is missing. On the upside (you all know I have to see the upside too!), this is the first Poobah in 17 years that my sister will be attending. She got here yesterday and we kicked off her visit with dinner on the river at Crawdads. It was beautiful, boats, the water, suntanned bodies, the smell of suntan lotion.....really nice! So now it is work, work, work for me. I have a list a mile long of things I want to get done before she goes home in two weeks and it is highly unlikely it will all happen. I'll let you know on the Monday following her departure.

Back to missing Dave. He is doing well though he doesn't like the heat and today he called and said it was 115 degrees. I can only imagine what the numbers will top out at before August. We estimate that when he comes home he will be sporting a lovely fisherman knit cardigan all the way through 90 degree weather! He enjoys getting mail more than anything along with all the guys so if anyone is so inclined to pen an message or better yet, tackle the scenario that is the post office and customs forms, packages are the prize winning smile makers! If you are so inclined, let me know and will give you some ideas about good things to send. http://creativewaystokeepintouch.blogspot.com/

OK, it's time to get to work. Take care and have a wonderful week. I am feeling the love already being able to write this message knowing Mason is completely taken care of! I got a little taste of these two weeks last Thursday when Dahlynn came over just to play with Mason all day so I could run errands and do my laundry.....all the way through, wash, dry, fold AND put away! Thank you so, so much! Love to you all! Have a "Feel Good" week and I'll check back in with a full Poobah report next week.

Love Kathy


Feeling good
It feels good to feel good, about yourself, about your world, about those around you. And feeling good, as simple as it sounds, can be a truly powerful and positive force.

Genuinely feeling good is more than just empty pleasure. It comes when you have the confidence and courage to be who you are, to live what you believe, with purpose, with meaning, with integrity.

In an attempt to appear sophisticated, some folks think they must be constantly critical, judgmental, and pessimistic. Yet true sophistication is the ability to bring out the best in yourself and in those around you, even though the challenges may be great.

In order to be your best, it helps tremendously when you can feel your best. Feeling good about what you're doing will greatly enhance your commitment and your ability to see it through.

Feeling good is not a matter of ignoring the negative realities. It's a matter of overpowering those difficult challenges with a positive, purposeful spirit.

Go ahead and feel good. The world eagerly welcomes all the goodness you can give it.

Used with permission of Ralph Marston

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Chicken Soup

Late again! Well, just a little since Monday was a holiday.....

It has been busy, busy, busy! The weekend was jam packed with all kinds of excitement. Dahlynn and Kens kick off book signing was on Saturday and it was a huge success. This book is doing so well (and they are doing so well promoting it) that they have achieved Chicken Soup history with the offer of a 3 book deal! Yes, there was some celebrating at the McKowen household, and for those of you who were there at the kick-off event, we had some fun, didn't we!?!

As such, they need to get some A+++ stories immediately for the three new titles: Cowboy Soul, Sisters and Brothers Soul, and Menopausal Soul. That's right, menopause. Seems crazy, but whenever Dahlynn talks about the title with women, it goes over well. Got the nod from Chicken Soup today to approach Oprah Winfrey to see if she wants to be the fourth co-author (Jack, Mark, Oprah and Dahlynn -- Ken won't be on this title). Actually, Oprah talked with Jack about the title a few years back, so now they've instructed Dahlynn to get her to sign on!

So, wish them luck on doing three books in two years, and send them some stories! They would love to have you become a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor! You can reach them through http://www.fishsoul.com/.

After such a exciting, fun filled day, Mason and I rounded out our weekend with a visit to the Galleria mall where Lisa Sulik met us and spent a couple of hours with Mr. Mason so I could get a manicure and pedicure! Talk about pampering.

Next stop on Monday was the white peach tree at Julies in Lodi. That was a really nice visit and made for good breakfast on Tuesday! So, today we were up early and on the road again. This time to Reno. I had an audition for a Peppermill commercial and took the opportunity to spend the afternoon and evening with Gayle, Lyndsey and Megan. Mason loved playing with the girls or is it more like, the girls loved playing with Mason! Needless to say, fun was had by all! AND, after more than 24 months out of the biz, I aced my audition. Who cares if I'm what they are looking for, one thing is for sure, this casting agent IS impressed with my professionalism and skill in an on camera audition! YES! So, off to wash dishes, put a load of laundry in, feed the dog and wash my face. It will then be about time to feed and change Mason one more time before we all retire for the evening. Love to you all and have a great remainder of the week! I love this motivator.......it simply can't be argued.

4 more days to Terry!

Kath

What you choose

You are the sum total of the choices you have made. So who do you choose to be?

Experience will show which choices work for you, and which ones work against you. So how are you making use of your own special experience?

Success and achievement do not come as the result of blind luck or random chance. They are built on choices. The choices that matter are not just the big ones, but also the little, seemingly insignificant ones. For there are lots of little choices to be made, and their consequences can add up quickly.

Every choice will take you in a specific direction. So where exactly do you want to go? Every moment is a choice, and every choice will make itself felt in your life and in your world. So what kind of life do you choose, this day, this moment, to live? Ralph Marston with permission

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

MM On Wednesday

Hi guys,

We are calling this week a "bye week". On Monday I was just not up to writing a motivator and even too blue to ask you guys to motivate me. Lets just say, I was realizing again that Dave is gone and not coming home anytime soon. I am back to being me and coping just fine. Have a great rest of the week and I'll be back next Monday!

Lots of love,

Kathy

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Happy Mother's Day 2004

Happy Day after Mothers Day!

I hope everyone took this opportunity to be loving to their family. Even if you don't have an ideal situation, make the best or make a change. Life it too short to be bickering, sniveling or simply settling.

I'm sure it's becoming more clear that I am not my sunshiny self today. I miss Dave terribly and especially on days that I know if he were home, he would be laughing and making fun of my sense of schmoop. You know, the stuff that is sappy and sweet, love songs come to life. The reality is, he is as schmoopy as I am and sometimes more.

We went through the motions today and really enjoyed our visit with Ken, Dahlynn and their family at the county fair. This was Mason's first fair and he played his first midway game. He went fishing....go figure, we are out with the McKowens and we go fishing.....authors of the Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul, Laughing! We came home, got in our jammies and played on the floor all afternoon. Mason is just this close to actually crawling! Then we took a nap together. It was a nice way to spend the day sprinkled with lots of phone calls from our family and friends wishing me a happy day and mostly letting me know I am not alone. I know, I am just not with Dave. Love to you all!

Kathy

Monday, May 3, 2004

MM May 3,2004

Hi Guys,

I don't have my usual leisure time today/night to write so this will be brief. It has been a productive week with Operation New Release. We mailed off 6 boxes on Saturday and another 3 today. I am planning to get the final count of the big donation from Tower's distribution center and hopefully collect the 600 lbs of coffee this week. Thank you to all of you who have helped out. Several of you were VERY generous and I want you to know that the smiles on all these soldiers faces are because of all of our combined effort. We still have a long way to go, but I am confident we will generate what we need. Flower, feel free to do a reply all and tell everyone what this means from your perspective. I don't normally have all of your names in the "to" line, but this way Dave can "reply all" and share.

Other big news is that Mason is officially moving to his big, front facing car seat tomorrow. He is 20 lbs and too big for his "baby" car seat! I will e-mail some pictures next Monday. Okay, I have to go get Mason ready for bed. When you are 20 lbs, you don't go to bed so early like babies do....you stay up until at least 7:45! Love to all of you!

This motivator is an accurate description of how I feel when I work on things like Operation New Release. Also, when I was a member of Alameda Rotary. Get involved with something that appears to have nothing in it for you and you will find that it fills you up!

Kathy

Alive with enthusiasm

What would it take to get you bubbling with enthusiasm about this day? What would it take to make you positively excited about all the possibilities available to you?

Think about it, and as you do, those thoughts will give birth to a very real and undeniable enthusiasm within you. Enthusiasm lives and grows and makes its presence felt in your mind, so by all means welcome it to come in and let it stay.

What happens when you have real excitement and enthusiasm for who you are, for what you're doing, for the positive possibilities in life? You find a way to enthusiastically make the best of those possibilities real.

Start by putting a great big, sincere smile on your face. That will do amazing things to your level of enthusiasm. Sure it sounds simple and silly, but there's one important thing to remember. It works.

Get up, get excited, get enthusiastic about this day, about your life, about the possibilities. And you'll soon have plenty of undeniable reasons to be truly excited.

Used with permission of Ralph Marston

Monday, April 26, 2004

MM 4/26/2004

Welcome to a Hot, Hot, Hot Monday!

I love that the weather is warming up and no, 98 was not too hot for me! I love it!

There is so much to tell. I am going to start with the exciting stuff. The Operation New Release drive on Thursday was a HUGE success! We had all the major news stations cover the morning radio live broadcast, and News 10 did 5 bits being sure to run them all day and night. Several stations even ran the story the next day. I have only collected the donations from 4 Starbucks locations and the running total so far is just under 500 DVD's, and somewhere in the vicinity of 2000 CD's! We have 3 other drop-off locations, the radio station is still taking donations and then there is the Tower Records donation. I am supposed to talk to my contact to find out what he means by "two pallets" and the ongoing support of 10 new releases each week. You can go to http://www.auburnjournal.com/ to see a story that was run today in the paper. There are no pictures and that is too bad, because they used the picture of Dave in his uniform carrying Mason in the Bjorn when we were in Washington. Starbucks also made a donation of 600 lbs of coffee and will be throwing in several grinders as well! There is another $1200 needed for mailing. The coffee is just for Dave's group of about 120 men. SO, here we are with all these wonderful CD's and DVD's and now we have to get them shipped to Iraq. LET THE FUND RAISING BEGIN! We have some plans for a bake sale, just kidding! We are working on doing an auction with the radio station, the newspaper mentioned the need which produced several e-mail offers to help and of course, family is stepping up. Mostly families like me, spouses who have men and women over in Iraq are wanting to send a box or two from their personal finances. I have figured that it costs about $2 per pound to send it first class. If I send it any other way, it more than doubles the delivery time and is only a few cents less per pound. I mailed 200 DVD's today and it cost $110. I made a commitment to this project when I started it and now I need to get behind it and follow it through. Our community came through for our troops and I am not going to let these movies and CD's age in my garage while I try to figure out how to tackle this next hurdle. I will send $100 worth every two weeks until it all gets there. The soldiers are SO excited about this stuff coming, it just warms your heart to here them ask their spouse "Did the movies get sent?", "What movies did you get?", "How many can fit in a box?" So there you go, I would say this has been very successful and I am not shy to say I feel very proud.

This was a very full weekend including a trip to Reno to see Ron White, Mason's first overnight with Christina and I even managed to finagle a work out in there somehow. I hope all is well with you. Write back and tell me what you did this weekend, I love to get replies!

Love to all of you!

Kathy

Monday, April 19, 2004

MM 4/19/2004

Hi Friends,

This weekend was jam packed with friends and fun.

On Saturday, Christina and I took Mason and our dogs to the Pooch Pageant and Parade here in Auburn. What fun! I entered Riley in the Best Trick, and the Friendliest Face categories. Christina entered her dog Roxy in the Best Body, and Muttiest Mutt contest. Riley suffered from severe stage fright and wouldn't do a single trick. As far as the friendliest face, I think the winner was rightfully chosen, but I have to say, my dog should have been an easy second. We went home empty handed but had fun. Christina on the other hand won the second biggest raffle prize and Roxy took third in the Muttiest Mutt class.

After that, Mason and I came home, had some lunch and a nap, and then headed over to the fairgrounds for a little rodeo action. We were there late and missed the Mutton Busting competition but had fun checking out the vendors and sampling a little kettle corn. Sure wish Dave was with us....just ain't right being at a rodeo without my cowboy!

Sunday, Christina, Mike, and Julie went with us to the Strawberry Festival in Roseville. That was a really fun day and we even stayed most of the day instead of the few hours I thought would be plenty. We ate BBQ, shopped the vendors, had a strawberry covered fudge brownie, and a funnel cake (we all shared the sweets), got free strawberry plants and even did a little wine tasting. We wrapped the day up with a soak in the hot tub and off to bed early.

This week is a big week for Operation New Release. The radio station here in Sacramento (KNCI 105.1) is doing the big DVD/CD/Game drive on Thursday. They will have drop off locations at many Wal Mart stores for people to either bring their donations (in good condition), or purchase and drop in the bin. News 10 will be covering the story and I will be talking to UPN Channel 31, The Sacramento Bee, and the Auburn Journal as well.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed to the Coloring book drive. It has been a big success and Dave is chomping at the bit to receive the boxes that have already been mailed. I have asked him to see if he can take a picture of him with a family he has given a book and crayons to so I can pass it along to the people taking the time to purchase and ship these packages off to him. Not to mention it legitimizes the whole project to see the stuff getting where we said it would go. Someone actually queried as to maybe my e-mail was an Internet prank!

Dave has been awesome. He writes sweet cards and calls me often. We really enjoy our time talking, especially when we laugh. If anyone wants to send something personally in a card, AT&T phone cards are MUCH appreciated. They have to be AT&T though. Enough rambling. Take care and drop Dave and e-mail. He really enjoys hearing from you and getting mail. Take care and have a great week!
Love,
Kathy

Monday, April 12, 2004

MM 4/12/2004

At 7:30 PM, it is still officially Monday. I am just getting to my computer because we had a very long night with Mason getting tooth number three, and then an early morning appointment in Sacramento to be on the radio. We were at the radio station (KNCI, 105.1) talking to Pat and Tom about a project I am getting off the ground called Operation New Release. This is to ultimately get the record labels and distribution companies to donate the latest releases of CD's and DVD's to the troops in Iraq. Dave and I are working together to build a library where the soldiers can check out CD's and movies, enjoy them and give them back. So right now it looks like Pat and Tom are planning to do their morning show form a Wal Mart or Target to get people to donate and get the collection started, and then continue working to get corporate sponsors on board to continue the movement for the duration of the war. It is looking like this will go national and could get some big publicity. This is a library that will remain on the base for the rotation of troops for as long as we are there.

On a more local level, Dave has asked that we pull together and send him coloring books and crayons/colored pencils for him to give to the Iraqi children. He has found that he encounters many families and would very much like to give something to the little ones. If you would be willing to contribute you can do one of two things:

A) You can go to your local Dollar Tree (or Dollar store) and purchase the coloring books and crayons and send the package to Dave directly (SSG David Partak, CO-C 1-185 AR, 81st BDE, APO AE 09331).

B) Send me a check (whatever you want to contribute) and I will go get the stuff and send it over. The only thing for me, is the bigger the box I send, the more the postage will cost me. I am willing to do this though if you want to participate but don't have time to shop and go to the post office.

Last but not at all least, our Easter in the Woods Celebration was SPECTACULAR! We had the best group of people, lots of kids, we colored eggs, has awesome food, an egg hunt for the little ones, and then an egg hunt for the grown ups all with great goofy prizes and a brilliant sun shiny day. Who could have asked for more? Mason was a doll taking it all in and by 5:45 last night, he was counting Easter bunnies, little chicks and sheep in the sweetest of Easter dreams! I hope your holiday was as nice. Write back and tell me about it!

Take care and lots of love!

Kathy

Commit To It

Great accomplishments most often result not from exceptional ability, but from ordinary ability followed through with exceptional commitment. Commitment can elevate even the most ordinary, tedious efforts into truly incredible levels of achievement.

What you're able to do doesn't really matter much unless you actually do it. It is in the doing, the commitment, the effort undertaken with persistence, that greatness results.

You can dream about success, hope for it, make the best of plans, talking about them with zeal and enthusiasm. Follow through with real, sustained action, and that success will come.

The life you experience today is the result of what you've been truly committed to in the past. Your commitments, whatever they may have been, have manifest themselves into your current reality.

You're always committed to something, whether it is watching four hours of television each night or running eight miles each morning. Your true commitments are evidenced by your actions.

What in the world would you truly like to do, to be, to experience, to accomplish? Commit to it, and make it happen.

Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator
with permission http://www.dailymotivator.com/

Monday, April 5, 2004

MM 4/5/2004

Hi Guys!

Thank goodness Riley was available to fill in for me last week or there would have been no motivator. Smile! This week was full with ants, colds, coughs, walks, extra sleep (when I could steal it!) and it all wrapped up with really good news.

First things first, last week was Julie's birthday and though Riley knows that, I am sure he was so excited to tell you his turkey story, he just forgot! Happy Birthday Julie! This week is Mary's birthday, Happy Birthday! Gotta love those Aries!

I went in on Saturday to weigh out for the Discovery Channel National Body Challenge and the results were good. Since January 5, I have lost 17 lbs and 18 inches. I have another 18 lbs to go and hope to have that handled by the time Poobah rolls around the 2nd week in June. 2 lbs a week, that's all I ask.

Hotty Roddy's story is "For Sure" in the Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul that Ken and Dahlynn have coming out May 18. If you want, you can buy books directly from them and they will personalize and autograph them for you (and anyone you want to get one for as a gift). Father's Day is just around the corner! Go to http://www.fishsoul.com/ and get the contact information. WOW! I am just surrounded by success and happiness.

I am hearing from Dave every 4-5 days. He should be arriving in Iraq today. They drove across the border from Kuwait over the weekend, and are all anxious to get there and set up house. At least having a space to call your own makes even the most desolate place a little more comfortable. His spirits are high but he misses home, family and friends. He is eager to get mail as this is the only contact with what feels like a previous life. I have sent 4 packages and letters everyday since I got his address. Hopefully the mail will start arriving and we can just keep the pipeline full.

So I am off and running this week. Workouts, ants, Doggie School and homework, playing with Mason and enjoying every minute I have to watch him grow. Love to you all. I hope you had a great weekend and a super week! I like this Motivator, it really speaks to me right now. I hope you get something from it too.

Kathy

Watch yourself


You can sometimes hide your thoughts and actions from others. Yet you cannot hide them from yourself.

The person you are becoming is always watching the person you are right now. The genuine image you have of yourself tomorrow depends on the actions you watch yourself taking today.

The person you will be, is always watching the person you are. And what you sincerely think of yourself, based on what you see, will play a major role in the quality of your life.

The confidence with which you live next month will be based on the integrity of the actions you take this week. Think for a moment what a grand opportunity that represents.

You have the ability, with your thoughts and actions in this very moment, to become precisely the person you most truly want to be. With each little step you take, you're building the future character with which you'll live.

The qualities of your life that matter most are not in any way left to chance. They're yours to develop and strengthen every moment, even now, as you watch yourself grow.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator
with permission http://www.dailymotivator.com/

Monday, March 29, 2004

MM 03/29/2004

Hello!

This is Riley. I know this is not what you were expecting, but my mom is very busy right now. Since my Papa is not here, I thought maybe I could help and send out her Monday message. You see, Mason has been sick. He started out with just a runny nose but by Friday, he was all the way sick. I waited on the deck while they went to see Dr. McGregor and he said small fever, ear infection, pink eye, with a big bad case of the common cold on top of that! Just when mom thought sleeping all through the night was becoming the norm. She said something about officially becoming a mommy but heck, she was my mommy long before Mason got here!

Anyway, I am not sick and I had a great weekend. You see, I go to school. I have been learning to walk nicely on the leash, come when I am called, and even to stay in the same place for no particular reason. Back to my weekend. I stayed alert to take care of the house for mom and Mason on Saturday. We watched movies, ate doggie snacks and just did lots of cuddling. On Sunday, I got to go for a long walk with mom, Mason and Uncle Mike! This is a really big deal because I have not been so good on walks in the past, I must be getting strait A's in school. We walked a long, long way. We saw lots of other people out walking and riding their bikes, doing yard work and cutting flowers. Other dogs, too, but I had to stay by moms feet, you know, the "heal" thing... when we got home, Mason took a little nap, he is feeling lots better now, and mom cleaned up my toys.

I got to go outside some more and play in the yard. And then there they were! A big Tom Turkey and his girls! I was gonna get 'em...all of them, I ran top speed in their direction when WHAM! The end of the cable. Yes, I still have to be tied in the yard. Just as I was really giving them a piece of my mind from the very end of my lead, mom came out to get me and it was time for dinner! I love dinner! Don't you? So now, Mason is asleep, mom is in the kitchen washing bottles & cleaning up ants and I am going to go play just a little more before bed....I have a monkey baby, a ball, and my favorite tug toy! I just need to be extra sure I am all tired out and ready to sleep. At least mom doesn't have to worry about all of us waking her up in the middle of the night...heck, I don't even hear Mason. Moms must have super duper hearing! She says I am just like my Papa, he doesn't hear Mason cry in the middle of the night either...hmm. Moms are good.

Bye-bye!

Mr. Riley (the Cocker Spaniel)