Monday, January 28, 2013

Life Lessons and Lots of Fun!

Happy Monday and first day of my last semester in school. It's cold outside but I am excited about the next sixteen weeks and at the end, I get my Associates Degree. It's a starter degree, but it's a degree nonetheless. I'm pretty proud to be accomplishing this and if I can pull off this last semester with good grades, I will graduate with honors.

This whole weekend was a hoot! I got to have a nice long visit with my friend Bettie Laven, I got to see Al Wright, Kathy Ledner Moehring, Georgia and her family, and so many more! Dave had some time to go play a game at his buddy's house and we all watched some movies. Dave, Mason and I were in Alameda for the Kiwanis Clubs Chili Cook off. We all collaborated on a recipe and Mason put it all together. He learned how to use hickory wood chips in the barbecue to smoke the meat and chili's and when it was all said and done, he learned something even bigger than cooking techniques. Mason did not win anything for his chili and he was pretty bummed (It's his first time ever being in a contest and not placing), but better to not win on a level playing field, than to win just because he is 9 and pretty cute. He'll see that when he looks back. I'm glad this happened sooner rather than later so he can see the value of what we do together is more than just what comes with the prize. And, not everyone in the real world gets a trophy for showing up to play (I hate that aspect of youth sports today). All that said, the experience was just one more fun ride - working together as a family in the kitchen, Mason learned to smoke and grill chili's, and we had a weekend get-away in Alameda. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if the Anderson's were home to do it all with us.
 
It's time to get back in the swing of work and school, but we have some fun plans on the horizon, too. I'll share those as they materialize. Mason has something cool coming this week and he will be sending out an e-mail to share with you what that is, you're going to love it. Stay tuned!
 
I want to leave you with this little reminder, "Today you have the opportunity to make a difference. You can smile at someone you don't know, pay someone a compliment, or spend some time with a child not being a grown-up. You get the chance today to make a positive difference in this great big world, today you can be the change you want to see." Take this with you today and let me know how you made a difference! Love, KP

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy MLK Day!

Hi Friends,
Whenever we have a holiday on a Monday, it screws me up. I'm always thinking about my MM, all through the week noting interesting things I could share with you and then Holiday-Monday rolls
around feeling like Sunday. So be it, I'm here now and was the real Sunday not an amazing day? I'll say! Congratulations to my very own San Francisco 49ers! They won their division and are headed to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. San Francisco and Maryland - I'm glad that Ray Lewis will get to retire with a Super Bowl as his last game, I'm just sorry they won't win! GO SAN FRANCISCO!

We had a great weekend that was a comfortable blend of work and play. I did some real estate stuff, Dave did some homework, we all did some house work and then on Sunday, we ate too much food, had some drinks, and had a blast watching football. The SF game was a real nail biter, so much so, I needed to get outside and do a 2.5 mile hike to bring my blood pressure down! Dave, Mason, and I took Spencer and several of the neighbor kids hiking and it was just beautiful! The weather this month has been spring like and all the trees and flowers are being fooled into early blooms. I'm sure we have lots more rain coming so I keep reminding myself to get outside while it is so nice out. We have also been doing a family sit-up challenge since the first of the year and we are seeing some great success. We started at Dave-40, Kathy-34, Mason-38 - Qualified sit ups in 2 minutes, and today we are at Dave-62, Kathy-64, Mason-67 - Qualified sit-ups in 2 minutes! How cool is that? Dave has been fighting a cold so his runs are just getting back on track, but the hikes and push-ups have been supplementing our sit up work.

Time to get back to work and school. I have one more week off, but it's a busy one with all I have to do to get my act together, buy another few books (the prices just kill me!), I have my first solo day on the new job on Thursday, and then we will be in Alameda for the chili cook-off on Saturday. Mason is leading team Chili Chucacabra to what we know will be a Judges and People's Choice Award sweep! We have been collaborating on a recipe and Mason has a very important go-to guy who has all kinds of culinary insights, our neighbor Harry H.! Harry has talked with us and given us some things to try...I'm counting on success! If this isn't all enough, tonight I had a visit from the mother of one of Mason's friends. She wants to know if she can hire Mason to cook for her Super Bowl party. Before I could say anything, she said, "I'm totally serious, can he barbecue ribs? What about wings and salads?" I can't look at Mason's catering career until we get through the chili cook off next weekend! Of course Mason told her heck yeah, "Mom, think about it, she is buying all the food AND paying me!" Notice he didn't say, "us - paying us." I like the idea just because then we get to go her Super Bowl party and we know the food will be killer. I'll keep you posted on this one.

Have a great week and if there is sunshine where you are, get outside, winter is a beautiful season for sunshine!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Brrrrr!

Welcome to a new week...a cold, new week. We have been experiencing record low temperatures here on the west coast although I kind of like it, it really feels like winter. Interestingly though, yesterday I noticed that the days are getting longer and I even thought I noticed a hint of spring in the air. Yes, it's cold outside, but the sun has been shining and the days just gorgeous.
 
This is my last week off before school starts and I'm excited. This will be my last semester and I will get to graduate with my starter degree! It's no secret that I am a late bloomer in life, so I guess I am right on par getting my AA at 46 years old. Lord knows how old I will be when I finally earn my BA, but hey, it's about the journey right? And without destinations to look forward to, we are simply sitting still...when have any of you ever known me to sit still? Laughing! Exactly! With that, I am in the bay area today getting information about a possible job opportunity after I graduate, it looks good, real good. I'll share more when I know more, for now, I have lots to do before school starts next week.
 
Mason is working hard as well, he and I did several new videos over the weekend and he has a new giveaway up on his website. Go watch his video and leave a comment to be entered to win - heck, in these early days of Mason's success, the odds of winning are pretty good so get your name in the hopper! Visit www.MasonPartak.com and cheer him on with lots of video views and comments, heck, you never know, you just might learn something along the way. Mason has some pretty cool possible opportunities on the horizon, too, we'll keep you posted.
 
 
Let me leave you with this today, some words of wisdom from Mason when asked what he would say if he had to give a speech to encourage or motivate people, he said, "Do what you want to do. I mean, why wouldn't you do what you want? Unless you are old and didn't do what you wanted to start with." Yep, Mason said that! I'll add to his thought, "Even if you are old, you can still do what you want to do, you just may have to get a little more creative to make it happen...Intentional Winning in Life." Happy Monday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Winning New Year!

Happy New Year! This year is off to a busy start...no surprise there! Is there ever a time that we aren't busy? I think not.

New Years Eve was celebrated with Mason home with some friends (a responsible sitter) and Dave and I with friends at a local pub. We were home just after midnight to find Mason's party still in full swing! What the heck? He's only nine and already knows how to kick a party into high gear! After we got the kids to call it a night, we woke up to a gorgeous day. Mason went bike riding with friends so Dave and I put the top down on the Solstice and took a drive up to the snow! It was a dry version of a January 1 Polar Bear, uh, drive? It was cold, but such a pretty day. We ended up driving a stretch of State Park road that went down the canyon and across the Yankee Jim Bridge where people were ringing in the new year kayaking! Brrrr! It was a great way to start the new year, fresh air, lots of smiles, and a drive across a bouncy-bridge.


On Friday, Mason was featured on the front page of the Auburn Journal and he was also on CW 31's Good Day Sacramento. He made his Cheeseburger Spaghetti and was excited that the producers asked him if he wanted to come back and do more Kids Cooking segments. Now we are working on his Valentines Day videos and another giveaway coming to masonpartak.com.

Yesterday, while out for lunch with Mason, Dave and Rod (Dave & Rod in uniform), an older couple walked in and smiled and the gentleman made some polite small talk with us before sitting down. A few minutes later, in walks Dave Bender (Channel 13 weather guy) with his lovely wife and they sat with the couple behind us. As we were ready to leave, we learned the gentleman paid for a good portion of our lunch. I got the feeling they were all related but we thanked them, acknowledged we knew who Dave B. was and off we went. It was a little extra happy to a lunch I was already excited about!
 


Dave and I had some fun on the radio today, too. I was the right caller to play a Newlywed Game so they got us on the phone together and we won a set of rings valued at $750! Whoo-Hoo! That's a happy new year surprise for sure. Mason is back to school tomorrow and I have a job interview - I am completely excited. This is just the first week of the new year and there are already so many good things happening, lots of love and laughter. I hope you are experiencing some of the same in your life.