While You’re Away

Vacations should be fun!  Exploring new places and experiencing something new often adds to an adventure.  When planning a trip to the Caribbean, we chose Grenada because it appeared to offer a good variety of things to do, not to mention turquoise water and white sandy beaches.

We chose to stay at the Mount Cinammon Resort where we learned they have a “Pack for a Purpose Program.” Guests are invited to bring small school supplies to support the South St. George’s Primary School.  Being a volunteer kindergarten teacher, I liked the idea of spreading a bit of kindness around the globe. Spending time with some of the students was a real delight!  They say “If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the project we support, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families.”

You don’t …
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The Gift of Longevity

 (By Guest Blogger, Cynthia Brian, from her book “Be The Star You Are” Millennials To Boomers)


Life expectancy has changed dramatically since the time of the Roman Empire, when the average lifespan was 22 to 25 years. In 1900, the world average was 30, while in America a male could expect to live to 46 and a female to 48. Fast forward a hundred years to millennials born in 2000, where the average man is expected to live to 75 and average woman to 80.

The world’s highest life expectancy is found in Japan according to statistics gathered from the United Nations for 2005-2010. What characteristics set them apart from the rest of the world’s population?  An Okinawa Centenarian Study found that elders are laid back, adaptable, optimistic, and rely on strong family and friend connections plus deep spiritual beliefs. They also follow a low calorie diet and eat …
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How Do You Demonstrate Dignity?

Dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, notes Wikipedia. We may not realize the great impact dignity has on our lives and our relationships. When we feel accepted, we have greater hope for the possibilities in our future.

How do you demonstrate dignity?  Simply treat people with courtesy and kindness. It can be as simple as asking someone’s name or looking them in the eye and saying good morning as you pass them by. The opposite is also true. If you lose a game and you say nasty things about your opponent, you may be acting without dignity.

Sometimes people who don’t look or act like us might cause us to think less of them, but it only takes a moment of thoughtfulness to prove our own dignity.  After serving breakfast to a woman at a homeless shelter she said: “You …
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The Gift Of Joyfulness

(By Guest Blogger: Cynthia Brian, from her book “Be The Star You Are! Millennials To Boomers”)


Experiencing  the world through the eyes of a child is a path to happiness.  Kids have such vibrant imaginations and they know how to squeeze bliss into even the tiniest details. The joy and wonder of being a child is a treasure to remember and relish forever.

When my son was five, he hugged my leg and said, “I love you so much, Mommy. But I don’t know who to love more: you or Santa?  You help lots of people, but Santa helps millions. This is a tough question! My heart skipped a few beats, and the joy that rushed through my veins was as strong as the current of Niagara Falls.  If he only knew…

Here are my simple suggestions for a life-altering payoff. Start practicing gratitude. Taste the sweetness of a …
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Dream On

The idea came to me when I least expected

It was something I always wanted to do

Yet I didn’t have a clue how

So I turned to a friend

She nodded her head

Maybe there is a possibility

I know others have made it happen

So why not me

Will I jump for joy

Or will I even know it is now

My dream is as close as my doorstep

I just need to open the door

And kindness will be scattered


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Not to Forget, But To Reflect

An old proverb says a person can actually die two deaths. The first happens when your physical body dies; the second occurs when people stop mentioning your name. Mark and Susan Lacek felt strongly that they would not let this happen to their infant daughter, Faith, and that her brief time on this earth should have a legacy. This legacy is the creation of Faith’s Lodge, a place where hope grows.

Those coping with the death or medically complex condition of a child can find hope and strength for the future at Faith’s Lodge.  Not to forget; but to reflect. In its North Woods setting, Faith’s Lodge provides a peaceful escape for families to refresh their minds and spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing.

If you know of a grieving parent or a child with a medically complex condition, please share this resource
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The Gift of Adoption

Radio interview includes the chapter I wrote for a recently published book on “The Gift Of Adoption.”  Click below to listen.


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A Little Something Good

What can you do this year that will instantly make you smile without spending a penny and does not involve eating the right foods or giving up something you enjoy? Scattering kindness, paying it forward and helping others are a few phrases that describe a plethora of activities that create an opportunity to be the person who makes you feel good.

You probably are already doing lots of little things that make others smile.  So this might be the year when you simply do more of them.  Try to catch yourself in an act of kindness.  Notice how quickly you pick up something that someone has dropped but barely notice their smiling nod of thanks.  When you decide to let someone ahead of you in a busy store or driving down the freeway, do you feel proud for a moment because you  just did a little something good?

Simply keep …
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Kindness (by Naomi Shihab Nye – 1952)

“… Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.”


This is an excerpt from the poem “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye written in 1952. The Academy of American Poets announced that “Kindness” was the most popular work on poets.org this year.  See complete poem at https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/kindness
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Teaching Kids To Be Kind

“I am kind wan I hlp my Mom” is what Kevin, a kindergartener at Partnership Academy wrote for his Kindness Project.  Students learned about some important aspects of being kind, like being a good listener and how to turn a frown upside down, in the book “K is for Kindness.”

Kindergarteners were excited to each receive a book of their own to take home and read with their family. This began a week of focusing on kindness where immediate responses to “what are you going to do to be kind” came many “share my toys” and “be nice to my family.”

Now these kind students are creating kindness books. Wonder what would happen if every adult completed a kindness project this week???


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