Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hi Friends,

It's Wednesday and The Monday Motivator is finally being written. Mike sent me an e-mail mid-morning on Monday asking if I was working on it and I replied, "Yes, this afternoon." It's been one of those kind of busy weeks!

Juggling kids (out of school/summer activities), multiple jobs, schedules while Dave travels, and regular things that need to happen is just too much for one Super-Woman! Enough about why a Monday column is arriving on Wednesday!

The last couple of weeks, Dave's dad has been in California spending some time visiting family and dear friends. He is living my dream this summer driving all over the country in his little motor home. Without advance planning, it turns out he was here when the state fair opened and expressed how much he'd like to go. This made me smile. You all know how much I love the fair, I haven't missed a year in, I don't know how long. Back in the early 1990's, my granny used to love haring about my jaunts to the fair. I invited her to go with me and much to my surprise, she said yes! We covered every bit of the Cal Expo fair grounds visiting each exhibit, shopping with the vendors (you know, before As Seen On TV, this was the stuff you could only buy at the fair!), eating anything we wanted and simply enjoying being together. I had so much fun that day, I forgot to take pictures! Ah, but I was not completely remiss in documenting our day, I made sure we got a picture of the two of us with the golden bear, the mascot of the State of California that greets guests at the front gate. My granny never went with me to the fair again, but every year when I shared with her about my recent visits, she would smile and we would reminisce about our day and how much fun we had.

As I was sharing this with Dave's dad, I was excited that Mason would get to go to the fair with his grandpa and though he may not appreciate the value of this time now, he surely will in his adult life. Our trip to the fair last Saturday was great! We made it a double-duty trip and bought tickets to Raging Waters water park as well. This was the perfect way to spend the day keeping cool and enjoying the fair. Mason, who is not quite seven, has no interest in the exhibits (though we made him go with us anyway) and just wants to ride the rides, play a few games, and eat. Breaking the day up between experiencing the fair and playing on the water slides, Breaker Beach, and floating around the Lazy River was a nice balance.

It's never lost on me that we need to grab hold of the opportunities that are presented to us, especially the ones that involve the gift of time with those we love. I don't know if we will have an opportunity to go to the fair again with grandpa and I'm quite certain a trip with either of the grandmas is not in the cards, so to say this was a memorable weekend would be an understatement. Frankly, it was a weekend I will treasure and keep super-safe until Mason is old enough to treasure it for himself, like I treasure my day at the fair with my granny.

Do you have fond memories of time spent with your grandparents? Share one with me, I would love to hear. Keeping our loved ones alive by sharing our stories and remembering their lives is the best gift ever (in reference to my granny, Dad, I'm well aware you are still living!)...especially for those of us who are still living and miss them so very much!

Don't let those moments pass when you can say I love you, go to the fair, or just sit and talk. It will be those times that you will cherish and be forever grateful when the opportunity is gone. I made time to spend a weekend a month with my granny a few years before she passed, best use of my time ever! It may be too late with some, but it's never too late with those we still have! Big Wednesday smiles!

California State Fair 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chasing Dreams

Happy Monday!

What a glorious morning it was! Sun shining, butterflies flitting, birds was a bit like waking up in a Disney film! Now it's after noon and it's H-O-T! I love it!

The weekend was good, everyone got to do a little of just what they wanted and we all did some of what each other wanted. What more could we ask for?

There are lots of changes on the horizon for the Partak's, most all for the better, but some of them will require some letting go. We are evaluating where we are and where we want to be and researching what we need to do. It's amazing to me how when we simply take the action to consider changes how new information presents itself. As soon as I buckle down and recreate an old budget, I find money all over the place; a $20 in my pocket, a penny on the ground, then a dime an hour later, then Mason found $11 on the floor at SaveMart. He ran up and handed it to the man in front of us, but I think he wasn't the one who dropped it. It all happened so quickly, but the man kept the $10 and gave Mason the $1. Nonetheless, it's money all over the place. I read that as a message from the universe that there is abundance everywhere, you just have to be aware.

We are looking at what we can and need to do to continue to grow ZipperBack Gloves and see Dave's dream through to being a park ranger in Gettysburg. Yep, that means a cross country move. Through our talks over the last few months, it is making me feel increasingly more fulfilled as I support Dave in following his heart. He has wanted to do this since he was just 14 years old and if I can help him get there, what better way to show my love? Not to mention the amazing adventure it will be to move to the east coast. Our emotions are high as we think about making a move, leaving our family and friends, but they are not crazy. We know this is what we want to do and we can't do it without some tugging of our heartstrings.

So now you know what's on the horizon for us, but not immediately. There is still lots to do with Dave continuing school and finding that dream job with the National Park Service. It could be a year, it could be three...but then again, if the opportunity presents itself, it could be tomorrow. Our mantra right now is, "Be open, aware, and flexible." I hope you all are staying on top of your dreams and working every day to get one step closer to making them come true!

Lots of love!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 4th, 2010


Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday! Yesterday was not an official holiday, but it was the one we observed. I took full advantage of the long weekend starting on Friday afternoon.

Diana came up to spend the weekend with us (we were suppose to go to Utah and since Dave has not been feeling well, suffice it to say, two 11 hour car rides wasn't the best plan!) and we had the best time! We started things off by spending the afternoon on Friday at the river. Mason and Diana were not the least bit put-off by the cold water, heck, after an hour or so in the heat of the day, it didn't seem quite so cold to me either! We grilled some dinner back at the house and enjoyed the meal overlooking the canyon on the front deck. After dinner we did my favorite thing of all, we made a fire in the backyard and roasted marshmallows! Diana made a strawberry-rhubarb pie (Dave's FAVORITE!) so me being me, I tried it out on a s'more. Not bad. Not bad. Smiling!

On Saturday, Diana and I went to the Auburn farmer's market and did some wholesome shopping; peaches, tomatoes (finally!), and fresh flowers. We tinkered around the house and headed back over to the river. It's a real perk living just one mile away from the confluence! We made our way home for a shower and an early dinner and then it was off to the Folsom Rodeo. Yep, we went and watched the bull and broncs. Unbeknownst to us, the rodeo was sold out, but when we parked the car and were offered two-for-one tickets, we said, "Heck yeah!" Was that lucky or what? We did a little dancing after the rodeo and wrapped up the Girls Night Out a little later that we originally planned...laughing, is 1 AM late or early?

Sunday was a hot one, it was darn near 90 outside before noon. What do you think we did? Yep! We went to the river, the whole bunch of us. We splished and splashed and floated down the rapids while waving our American flags! Others on the beach cheered and clapped. It was quite a time. Mason even got to walk up stream and ride the rapids down by himself a few times. Sunday afternoon we made our way to the fairgrounds for the Auburn Family Fun Fourth parade and fireworks show. Dave's dad showed up, we grilled some dinner, met some other friends and all in all, It was just a fun, fun time.

Monday rolled around and before sending Diana back to the bay, we made one more trek to the river...four days in a row! That's a record for me, though it shouldn't be, I live only one mile away! Laughing! I hope you all had as wonderful a July 4th weekend as we all did and even though it was a jam packed weekend, there were many conversations about gratitude, the freedoms that we love, and what a great place America is to live and call home! We'll get through these tough times because we are a tough bunch! Lots of love! Kathy