Friday, October 28, 2011

A thank you to my parents

My parents have always been my heroes.

My Dad is an amazing man.  He can fix anything and loves to work with wood.  He made all my soap boxes, soap cutters and drying racks. He was a construction worker before he retired, and was laid off when the weather turned cold and there were no jobs. I know now that my parents were worried every winter about bills, but I was so happy to have my dad home when I came in from school. He encouraged me to read by saying "If you can read, you can do anything". In fact, when I wanted to learn how to make soap thirteen years ago, I went to the library to take out a soap making book.

I was a Biology major in college. This meant my electives consisted of classes like "Organic Chemistry" and "Applications of Physics".  With nineteen credits a semester there was no time in my schedule for any other type of class.  When I decided to turn my soap making hobby into a business, I quickly realized I had a lot to learn. (What an understatement!) I heard my Dads voice, telling me that I could read a book to help me learn.

My mom has always been there for me, even when she didn't understand my choices (You're making soap, not dinner?) She took me to the library to get me my first library card. As I was growing up, all I wanted to do was read.  I think she was worried when she realized I'd rather be inside with a book than go outside to play with the neighborhood kids. In fact, when she insisted I go out, I carried a book and found a quiet corner. 

So, this blog is a thank you to my parents, who are both still healthy and vibrant. (Aren't I a lucky girl?) Thank you Dad for encouraging me to read, to learn and to have faith in myself.  Thank you Mom for your support, your love and for allowing me to "read my childhood" away. I wouldn't be where I am without either you. I love you both.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Choosing a song

Monday night I attended a networking meeting with The Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women (  I enjoy these meetings, speaking to other women and men (yes, we have male members) to start new professional relationships.  At each meeting we have a speaker and the speaker this month was Gail Blanke.  Gail is the author of the book "Throw Out Fifty Things"  ( and is an amazing motivational speaker. She spoke of letting things go, physically and emotionally.  There was one thing she said that really struck me.  She said we all need a song. A power song.  One that will (in Gails words) "intensifies your courage, reminds you of how good you are, and of the fact that you are one-of-a-kind and throughly unstoppable"

I don't sing well, but I like to sing and I've decided I want a song. There are so many good ones to choose from. Tina Turner's "Simply the Best", Katy Perry's "Fireworks", The Pretender's "I'm Special" or Bon Jovi's "It's My Life"?  Those are only the ones that are at the top of my head.  I think I'll spend the weekend listening to music and choosing my song. Will anyone join me?  How about sharing your choices?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things my dog taught me

Our dog Ziggy was 16.  We had to put her down this past weekend.  She was in pain and we felt it was the humane thing to do.  While my husband and I were sad, we spent the weekend talking about what a great dog she was and the funny things she did.  When we took her to the beach she would spent the entire day barking at the waves. She could catch a Frisbee thrown as far as a football field.  And she loved sitting right up against you on the couch. The more I thought about it, I realized there were many things she had taught me about how to live my life.

1- Be really happy to see someone.  Anyone.  Ziggy would greet everyone who came to the door with her tail wagging.  Didn't matter who they were or what they were doing in the house, she was genuinely happy to see them.

2-Look forward to going for long, aimless walks for no other reason than to take a long, aimless walk.

3-Snuggle with the people you love.  Touch them and make them touch you.  When they are sad, happy, angry, whenever, it doesn't make a difference.  Just touch and snuggle with them.

4-Ignore all influences meant to divert you from your path.  She taught me this a few weeks ago.  Ziggy was old and couldn't hear or see at the end of her life.  There is a bird that built a nest in a bush in our backyard. When Ziggy would go out in the yard, the bird would dive-bomb her to keep her away from the area where the nest is.  Ziggy was oblivious to the birds attacks and did what she wanted to do. The bird never gave up, but Ziggy didn't care.  She just went about her business doing what she wanted, walking where she wanted and laying where she wanted.  The bird did not deter her at all.

I want to be like Ziggy and I think I'd like the rest of the world to be like her also.  Rest in Peace Ziggy.