Monday, January 30, 2012

Painless Journaling

I've always loved Twitter, because it is short and to-the-point. Posts on Twitter, known as "tweets," are required to be less than 140 characters. Perfect! I don't like wasting hours of time reading lengthy articles and posts, to find helpful information. In less than 5 minutes on Twitter, I can easily find 30-40 helpful tips, articles, learning resources, recipes, news updates and more.

I've, also, always loved journaling, but sometimes my days are so busy that I don't have time to write as much as I would like. For that reason, the micro journaling site,, is just perfect for me, and maybe for you, too.

At 280Daily, entries are required to be less than 280 characters, but you can include links and photos. All your entries are private, unless you choose to share them. You can indicate entries which include something momentous, by ticking the box next to "day of note." You can even save all your entries, and have them printed in book form!

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to journal, or to get your child or teen to journal, in an almost painless way, check out 280Daily! It's quick, easy and fun!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spring Is Coming!

Winter in northeast Ohio has never been my favorite season, but I tolerated it. Sometimes I even moderately enjoyed it. This year, I'm just not in the mood for it.

It just started, and it already seems like it's been here too long.

I enjoy being at home, but when I have some place to go, I want to be able to go. I don't like having to check the weather forecasts for my house, plus for wherever I'm headed. You can't just check the current forecast. You have to check the entire day and evening, if it's a long trip. It may be fine in the morning, and clear in the evening, but if the afternoon includes a foot of lake effect snow, it's a major problem...

This morning, however, I discovered two bits of news that are very encouraging.

First, the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center sent me a copy of their SPRING 2012 Program Guide! Did you notice that lovely word... SPRING?! Oh joy, oh joy!

Second, on our trip to the post office this morning, I saw a sign in front of the local Dairy Queen... "Opening February 1st!" The opening of Dairy Queen each year is a sure harbinger of SPRING!

Yes, I know that Spring doesn't officially arrive until March 20th, but the feeling of Spring always arrives much earlier, and I'm ready!

Are ya feelin' it?
Spring Flowers

Working with Passion

My oldest daughter, Kylia, now 22, has been following her passion in work since she was 11 years of age. At that time, her passion was make-up. She decided she wanted to be an Avon Representative, because Avon offered everything she loved. As she was explaining to me why I should sign up as a representative so that she could sell the products, she stated with great enthusiasm, "Mom! It's make-up, clothing and jewelry! Everything I love!" Although she has taken a few breaks, she continues representing Avon, on a part-time basis, today, 11 years later.

When Kylia turned 13, she went to a local coffee shop with a few friends, and called me, while there, to say, "Mom, you've got to see this place. It's the coolest place ever!" The coffee shop was run by a man named Jimmy, who was not only the shop owner, but also, quite an artist. He was busy covering every square inch of the place with paint, mirrors, glitter and unique artifacts he seemed to discover everywhere. He invited the young people to paint with him, and Kylia's passion for Jimmy's Café was ignited. She convinced Jimmy that she could help out at the café, and she did just that with great enthusiasm for 4 years.

When Kylia was 19, she visited me at my weekend job at an art gallery in Peninsula, Ohio. While I worked, she sat outdoors, at the nearby train station, reading. As luck (fate?) would have it, she was offered a job working for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. She started by selling tickets, which she thought was really cool, because she worked in an old caboose. It wasn't long before she was working on the train itself, running the café car with passion and enthusiasm. She loved the train!

She had to wake up at 5:00 am every morning to get to work by 6:30 am, but she always bounced out of bed, with a big smile on her face, and announced "I work on a train!!!!" Every day was fun and exciting, even when the work day lasted 12 - 14 hours. She would work until she was exhausted, and then wake up the next morning ready to go again.

One day, when I was working at the gallery, a pleasant couple stopped by to browse. They said they had been on the train, and met my daughter, and that they loved her enthusiasm and friendliness. I told them how she woke up filled with enthusiasm every single morning, and the husband looked at me, and said, "I know what that's like! I love what I do, too, and I just can't wait to get to work."

"Really?" I seldom heard anyone say they were as excited about their work as Kylia was. "What do you do?"

"Concrete! I love it! I hate taking time off when the weekend arrives. I just love what I do!"

"Concrete? Are you serious?" I asked with an amazed expression on my face.

"Oh yes!" the man answered. "Concrete has unlimited possibilities. I can make driveways, buildings, many things. And they last, and they're strong! It's great! And I feel like an artist when I'm working with concrete. I can create all kinds of great patterns and structures with it."

I agree with the concrete guy, and with my daughter: I love what I do! I love learning, and sharing my passion for learning with others! I love when parents tell me that their children and teens are excited about my classes! There's no feeling like it!

There are all kinds of passions, and following those passions can make a huge difference in your life. Think about it! It's never too late!

What's your passion?