Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Get your own Digital Clock
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Happy Saturday, Highlowaha! It's Katie here. After all the 'rain' this week (albeit good rain), let's talk about some sunshine!
As I'm sure you're all aware, earlier this week we officially entered summer. With summer comes everyone's favorite thing: vacation! While I'm not taking a summer vacation this year, it is still fresh on my mind. After all, just today, the Beeny boys and I kicked Richard and Claudia out of town for the weekend so they could take a little vacation together and my friend Nicole is preparing for a month-long vacation to Europe!
It is with Nicole in mind that I write today's post. You see, she has a packing challenge on her hands. She is going to Europe for an entire month. She has one suitcase in which she must fit everything and still have it weigh less than 44 pounds.
While talking to her on the phone yesterday afternoon, she was telling me of her situation and asked me how she should pack her clothes. I have heard of many different approaches to packing for such a long trip. They include the traditional fold, rolling them, laying them flat, and even As Seen on TV, vacuum bags to seal them tight. Let's face it. Packing for a summer vacation takes a small slice of creativity to make it all fit. How do you pack your clothes? Take the poll below to let us know your opinion. My opinion (which I shared with Nicole) is to roll them. However, she still seemed a little hesitant after that advice from me, so hopefully all of you will be able to help her with this dilemma.
Get This - Survey Results - GlowDay.com
To close for today.....where are you going this summer? We all know that Peggy went with her DD to Florida for a volleyball tournament and I know Kat returned recently from vacation. What about the rest of you? Any fun plans?
Signing off until Monday with the song of the day...
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
What I don't have in sense of direction, I like to think I make up for in my sense of fun. Raindrops in buckets are fun, it is true. But, raindrops written in code have to be the equivalent of red galoshes, deep puddles, splashing, and singing in the rain.
We'll keep yesterday's rainstorm going, but today we would do it while wearing red galoshes. Today we'll write our raindrops in secret code.
So many codes, so little time.
How about Ray Latin:
If the first letter of a word is a consonant, move it to the end of the word, and add the letters ray. If the consonant sound is made of two or more letters, like sh or ph, move all of them.
- blog = logbray
- phone = onephray
Put a space after each vowel rather than after each word.
- A re we ha vi ngfu ye t?
-.-- --- ..- -.- -. --- .---, .-.. .. -.-- . -- --- .-. ... . -.-. --- -.. .
Code for, "You know, like Morse Code."
Of course you can use the old, twist-a-piece-of-paper-around-a-pencil-then-write-the-note-and-unravel-the-paper trick, as is pictured at the top of today's post. The only thing the recipient needs is her own pencil to decode your message.
Or, you could use our code of choice today - By the Numbers. Here we write out the alphabet and then, beginning at an agreed upon letter (for us it will be "R"), each letter is assigned a number. I'm using dashes between words.
- 16 18 5 14 - 18 3 - 10 - 6 17 18 1 21. Code for, "Give it a whirl."
Right this very minute I am going to pull the names of three people from my Random Acts of Kindness Bag. If your name is drawn, you will receive a coded message from me in the mail late next week. Once received, decode your message and post in the comment section for that day's post. Be first and you will win a prize. And the winners are:
- 22 18 2 3 8
- 14 1 18 12 10
- 12 1 18 2 3 18 23 14
12 17 10 24 3 18 12,
8 24 4 1 - 14 10 1 21 8 - 22 24 1 23 18 23 16 - 25 24 2 3 2 - 10 21 6 10 8 2 - 17 14 21 25 - 2 14 1 - 10 - 23 18 12 14 - 3 24 23 14. 3 17 10 23 20 - 8 24 4!
Think this is fun? This book is $6.00 at Barnes and Noble (cheaper if you have their membership card). Think of the fun you, your kids, your neighbors, and co-workers could have!
2 18 16 23 18 23 16 - 24 15 15 - 4 23 3 18 21 - 3 24 22 24 1 1 24 6...
Monday, June 22, 2009
A few years back I attended a presentation about a bucket - something about our buckets being filled or emptied, based on our interactions with others. And, the more full our bucket the better. I didn't remember details, but I remembered generally liking the premise.
Wednesday morning I opened my email to a thoughtful note from a dear friend. The note thanked me for sharing an evening of what most of us would describe as mundane (even monotonous) activities - running errands, giving baths to the boys, and cleaning up after dinner. But the note was so personal, so detailed, and so generous my bucket could not help but be filled. Hump day at 9:04 a.m. and I had the energy of a person who could have worked another week.
Suddenly it came rushing back to me. Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, "How Full Is Your Bucket?" They maintain, we experience approximately 20,000 individual moments in a waking day. Each moment lasts only a few seconds - and rarely are they remembered as neutral. Most moments are remembered as being either positive or negative.
Wednesday, June 17 at 9:04: positive.
One more thing. There's a magic ratio. Apparently five positive interactions to one negative interaction is the magic ratio for marriages whereas 3:1 suffices in the work place (yes, marriage is harder work than work).
Today I play weather woman. Today I want to end the drought by creating conditions for a more positive outlook and for renewed energy. Let it rain. Put drops in the buckets of people you know. Say thank you, pay a compliment, or catch someone in the act of doing something right. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.
Turns out there's a science to filling buckets just like there's a science to predicting weather (unless you live in Arizona... where it's just plain hot). Drops must be individual, specific, and deserved. If it doesn't fulfill those three criterion, it won't soak in. The drop will run right off, without ever penetrating.
So, regardless of what the weather is doing outside your window right now, make it rain. Commit to a ratio of 5:1. Place five drops in the buckets of people you think are deserving. Let's see today if we can't brew a storm together. And, if you want... tell us about your weather and who you'll rain down on.
Signing off until tomorrow...
Saturday, June 20, 2009
About two weeks ago I had a really horrible experience at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Let's just say I finally left with a car 15 miles away from the original location, 2 hours after my reservation time and with a VERY cranky toddler. Typically I'm the type of person who doesn't complain but I was upset by the manager's response so I called their Corporate Customer Service Line. The next day I got a call from Matthew Hamilton, the regional manager for this area and he turned my experience around. You see, Matthew made me an offer, "think about it over the next few days and give him a call if there was something they could do to win me back as a customer." I hung up thinking I wouldn't take him up on that offer. I really didn't NEED anything and I wasn't sure they could do anything to win me back as a customer. But then it hit me like a lead balloon. I didn't need anything but there are plenty of people out there who do...so on Monday morning I called Mr. Hamilton back and told him I'd like to take him up on the offer he had made the week before. You see I had realized that Enterprise could win me back as a customer if they would give a voucher to the Gift of 218 so we could send a family on a family vacation. He didn't skip a beat in saying that he thought that was a great idea and consider it done. He also asked me to send information on the Gift of 218 his way as he'd like to see if maybe his Regional Vice President would be interested in forging a longer term relationship with our organization.
So...that is how the Gift of 218 got a gift from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The voucher has arrived in my mailbox and now I'm on the search for a hotel that might be willing to jump in to offer the same type of customer service.
So how does this apply to you? I'd like to challenge each of you to think in this same mindset...what do YOU have to offer the Gift of 218 that could help us give a family an experience? How might you compel others to give of themselves for the cause?
Katie and I are completing our paperwork to become an official charitable organization so that we are tax deductible. We are still soliciting people to join us in our Dine by Design Challenge to help us raise funds to grant experiences, will you host a table? Do you know a family that you think would make a great Gift of 218 recipient? If so complete the nomination form located here and email it to us at email@example.com.
More than anything, think of how you might contribute to spreading the Spirit of 218 through the Gift of 218 after all it is a noble enterprise.
Signing off until tomorrow...
Friday, June 19, 2009
If you're running behind and still don't have a Father's Day gift in mind, ask and we'll help you Free For All a few ideas. The cake pictured below was a suggestion from last year.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- High: Katie arriving in Texas and a fruitful HLA retreat, resulting in a bright future for Highlowaha.
- Low: Backing my car into a light post (small ding) and making a professional decision for which I am less than proud.
- Aha: Thomas Edison had, on average, 17 posts every year for 63 years.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Now that we've done our part (actually Cheryl did most of the work), maybe you'll jump in and do yours. Honor the life and health of a young child you know. Purchase a kids T-Ray Shirt and present it to him/her with a note letting them know why you think they are special. It'll make their day and Ike's too.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Terra cotta pot, $1.00; acrylic paint, $0.89/per; shred, free; styrofoam to stick pens in, $1.89; floral pens on sale, $2.99/per. Not bad for this small and functional treat.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Before we get into the story about my mom and dad and the creative idea I will share today, I must first give some background as to how I decided to post about this topic today. About a week ago, I was over at Claudia's house and she was trying to bribe Matthew to brush her hair (let's face it- doesn't it feel great when someone else brushes your hair?!). In order to keep him motivated to brush her hair, I told him that if he kept brushing, I would tell him stories about my childhood, about my mom, my dad, and their house (the house I grew up in).
I was explaining to him that my mom and dad moved into their house a few months before I was born almost 23 years ago. They have not moved since then. For this reason, there is a lot of history in that house and our childhood is built within the walls of that home. I told Matthew about one of my favorite parts of my house. In the basement, my parents have a ledge that goes around most of the room. For as long as I can remember, that ledge has been full of picture frames. The frames hold pictures of my brothers and me, family friends, family members, and my parents. While that ledge has now become walls full of shelves- it still holds years of photos. I was telling Matthew about some of the frames on the ledge and that if you were to open the back of the frame, you would discover years worth of pictures behind the one that is showing in the frame. For example, each of my brothers and I have an 8' x 10' frame that holds our school pictures from Kindergarten to senior year of high school. While our senior picture is the one that you currently see through the glass in the frame, if you were to open them up, you'd find years worth of school pictures.
I can't wait to take my children to my parents' home and look through all the photos around the house. I can't wait to point out my "favorite" photos to them. I think that wall of frames is one simple touch that makes my parents' home extra special and significant in my life. So, today, consider going out and having a photo printed. Then, buy a frame to put it in. Next year, replace it with a new photo but keep the old one behind it in the frame. Begin your own bargain of a scrapbook.
Do you already have framed pictures around your home? What's your favorite picture? If you were to choose one photo that you wanted to be framed and hanging in your home right now, what would it be?
- After 'playing around' on Facebook for awhile last night, I discovered a feature on Robin's page where you can 'follow' blogs through a feature called 'Networked Blogs'. You can find a new widget on the right side of the blog, with a button that says 'Follow This Blog'. If you are on Facebook, please press this button and share the word about HLA with your Facebook friends!
Friday, June 12, 2009
With all that said, here's this week's Free For All Friday...
So what are your thoughts? Free for all the "Pounding Party" and let us know if you are in for a Dine by Design party and what theme you might choose.
As always I'll start.
How about "Pound for Pound the best friend around!"
Dine by Design I'm still contemplating and will have to think about it more today and check back in later.
Also, you may have spotted a new feature on the right side of the blog. It's called "Surprise Me"! If you click on this it will take you to a random post within our blog. This can provide you with a blast from the past or maybe a fresh idea that you've forgotten about! Check it out and enjoy!
See you all on twitter! (www.twitter.com/raywattson)
Signing off until tomorrow...
Thursday, June 11, 2009
- Start out with a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper
- Take the top right corner of the paper and fold it downward along the left side border of the paper
- Cut off the extra rectangle of paper below the fold you just made
- Now unfold the paper to make a square.
- Take each corner of the paper and fold it into the middle of the square to make 4 triangles
- Flip the paper over and repeat the step from above
- Pick up the paper and fold in half once and then fold in half again
- Lay the paper flat with the side with 4 squares facing up
- Color each of these squares a different color
- Flip the paper over and label each of the smaller triangles with a number 1-8 (in order)
- Lift up each of the larger triangles and write a fortune underneath to correspond with the 1-8 number on top. You should write 8 fortunes.
- Pick up the paper and push the four corners together to make a fortune teller
I have one slight twist on this that you could do with your kids. You could put a chore as one of the fortunes. Then, they could play this game to see what chore they needed to do that day. Maybe take out the trash, vacuum the living room, etc. Or maybe you could put fun "trips" as the fortunes. A night at the movies, going to the public swimming pool, etc. Take a twist on this however you want with your kids for the summer. Feel free to share them in the comment section.
Now for a little fun for us! I have written some fortunes on the inside of my fortune teller. We will do this in 3 rounds today for you all to find out your fortunes. Here's what you need to do to participate! First, between 5:00 AM and 12:00 noon make a comment in the comment section telling me which color you want to choose (orange, pink, green, or yellow). At 12 noon, I will post telling all of you what numbers you need to choose from. Sometime between 12:00 noon and 3:00 PM, you need to choose one of the numbers that I give you to choose from and post your selection in the comments. At 3:00 PM, I will comment one more time telling each of you what your fortune is for the day! I hope some of you will play along! See you at 12 noon for the first round!
Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Get your calendars out. We are looking at two dates. Our first choice and our preference is Saturday, September 12th. Our second choice is September 26th. How's it looking for you?
Our destination is Louisville, Kentucky. Walk, bike, drive, jump a train or flap your wings and fly. I don't care how you get there but just get there. The Dallas crew will fly in the night before and head back out on Sunday. Our day will start at 9:00 am. We will break at noon for lunch and reconvene at 1:00 pm. We will plan to stop the official meeting at 4:00 pm but the fun doesn't have to stop there. Last year we enjoyed dinner together for those of that stayed and then drinks.
We are assembling the details for a fun filled day... would you like to learn how to flood and decorate a cookie? Or, make a box from a card? Or, learn how to make your own greeting card? (Peggy, you're coming right?) I'm telling you what you really need to learn is how to tie a bow by Claudia! You will never need to have someone put there finger on the string again!
So, what's your task today?
- Dates- I know we won't please everyone but we will please the majority of you because we're DemocRAYtic that way.
- Topics- want to learn something? Let us know. One of us will learn how, find someone that knows how or whatever it takes to teach you.
- Want to teach something to the group? We'd be happy to have you participate!
- Are you in?
- And if you're not... what silly thing will I volunteer myself to do for you at Taste of USA that will make you want to come? (You can include the group of us if you want.) Do I need to wear purple boots while doing the River Dance? Do a cheer every hour on the hour? Sing the song I wrote for the Olympics- though I'm pretty sure you would only be torturing yourself with that one. You're a creative group, throw out some ideas.
That's what I need: Dates, Topics, Are you coming, Make the Cruise Director Dance... Give it to us!
*Ray is Twittering! Are you following him? He's busy spreading the news about RAK!
*You can now easily share Highlowaha! There should be a link at the bottom of this post that says Share. Go ahead! Spread the news! Katie will give further direction if need be in today's comment section.You are a great group of people and I am honored to be in your company! Thanks for all your participation!! Signing off until tomorrow...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
- Who is your celebrity crush?
- What is one beauty product you can't live without?
- What was the most thoughtful gift you have received from a friend?
- What family member of your is the craziest?
- What is a favorite past time for you and a friend?
- Which part of your body do you like the least?
- Who was your worst boyfriend/girlfriend?
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Happy Saturday morning, Highlowaha! Katie here to bring you our final day of lead-up to National Friendship Day which will be happening on Monday, June 8. Today, we will take time to share and read stories about friendships that we are all so glad to have.
Some of you sent in photographs of you with your closest friend(s). While some of you also sent along a description of the friend(s) you are photographed with, I decided it would be much more meaningful to hear it from you rather than me relaying the message through the blog! With that in mind, enjoy some photographs of HLA readers with their friends...
Before signing off for the day, I would like to take a few minutes to honor the friend I have included in the slide show. My photo is the first one included in the slide show and in my picture is one of my best friends, Kristina. Kristina and I met in college while we both lived in Kennedy Hall at Bellarmine University. At first we only knew each other through association as she lived with one of my classmates in the Education program, but during our sophomore year we became instant friends. I love this picture because it perfectly captures our fun-loving, care-free, but loving friendship. Our favorite things to do include spending a weekend on her family's boat in the middle of Patoka Lake (in Indiana), sitting on the living room couch of her apartment talking and catching up until 4 am, and taking trips to downtown Louisville to play in the water fountains at odd hours of the night.
I love my friendship with Kristina because it is so natural and even if weeks pass where we are unable to talk to one another, it feels like not a day has passed when we do get to talk. There is never any pressure to be a "better friend", but instead a mutual understanding that we are so blessed to have one another. Kristina shows me the creativity in being spontaneous and getting out of my regular routine. She shows me the creativity of what can happen one day when I just decide to "let it go". It is this leap of faith and spontaneity that I am trying to include in my plans for the future, and I know that if it doesn't work out, Kristina will be one of the first people in line to help me figure things out from there.
What about all of you? What makes your friendship so special with the person you included in your photograph? If you were unable to submit a photograph, what photo would you have included and why is that friend so special to you?
Signing off until Monday with the song of the day...
Friday, June 5, 2009
Here's the story behind the ball...
favor is passed back and forth between friends, sisters, and mothers,
to be exchanged through the years as the occasion arises.
In any case use your imagination to fill the Friendship Ball and pass it
back and forth through the years continuing the tradition. In the spirit of
the countless ages before us, the timeless treasures are forever...the real
treasure is priceless - the gifts of love, forgiveness, grace, joy, peace,
and the treasures of friendship.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thank you for joining us on this fine Wednesday. Cheryl here. I have two big acts to follow this week. First Heather brought us to tears about savoring the moments of our life. And then Claudia had a fun day with our Fancy Flours Cookie Cutter Challenge. The mermaid was the winner. Yay! I can't wait to see how she's decorated. But today I'm here to announce that next Monday, June 8th is National Friendship Day. Be in this moment with me.
I could tell you about all the friendships that I have savored through the years with my best friends but that would take forever. If you're as fortunate as I have been then you have several best friends through the years. There was my very first friend, Cassie, that I wanted to be twins with. We dressed alike in our Tina Tomato and Lucy Lemon shirts. Or I could tell you about my Kristi that I watched scary movies with. There's her sister Johnanna. We were the wildest of friends. (I say "were" because I'm not wild anymore.) And there's DeDe and Darci and Angie and, and, and! I different friend for a different time in my life and I cherish them all.
I love my old and new friends and what better way to celebrate those friendships than by picking out something small to send them to let them know that you appreciate and love them. It's totally out of the blue and unexpected. But what? What are you going to send these people that stand by you no matter what? These people that have seen you cry the "ugly cry" and laughed until you had tears coming down your face and held your hair while you puked!
I'm all about making my friends laugh so what better way than to provide some fun napkins like the ones below. These say r.i.c.h. - Relax, it's cocktail hour, s.l.u.t.s. - Southern ladies up to something, and p.o.o.l. - Perfect outlook on life. Hop on over to Homewetbar.com to order some for your friends or shoot, give some to yourself. You can share them with your friends at your next party.
Or, another fun idea are these party cups. There are many to choose from over at Connexxions but these three are my favorites. Everyone fills in there fun saying for the chosen cup. These say:
- It's not a party 'til _______
- I'm gettin' my ________ on!
- _______ by day _________ by night
Tell me those aren't fun. Do you want to take a shot at filling in the blanks? It could be fun.
I took a piece of poster board and cut it so that it was about 14 inches tall and 22 inches wide (the 22 inches is the short side of a regular sheet of poster board.) I pulled out the finger paints and let my creative boys go to town. JB started painting a picture of a girl that sort of resembled my aunt. She had blond hair. Drew drew a heart that said "Happy B-Day" in it. I started adding flowers all over. We called it Picasso's Birthday Girl. On the opposite side I wrote a big note that said Happy Birthday and put her address.
The workers at the post office laughed at me. The people in line laughed at me. Heck, I laughed at me standing in line with an over sized postcard painted with a funny looking girl on it. It cost about $1.5o to mail and it was worth every penny. My aunt called us and you could just tell by the laughter in her voice how much she loved it, which in turn made me very happy. You don't have to be an artist to do it. I promise! Just put some bright color paint on there and go for it- find your inner-childlike-artist. Surely you can remember that person.
I wish I could tell you I was more organized and that I had my over sized friendship postcards painted up and ready to go so you could see pictures but I don't have it done yet.
- Poster board- check.
- Paint- check.
- Time- I won't let you slip away!
Oh, are you wondering what my title, F.A.R.T. has to do with today's post? Just a fun game. Tell me what you think it stands for. It's about friends. Or make up your own fun acronym about friends and share it with us.
Will you do one more thing for me? Please. Will you email us a picture of you with a friend and tell us a quick story about that friend? It can be a friend from your childhood, a new friend, a friend that makes you laugh or just whatever you're in the mood for. Personally, I'd like to see you and your friend as kids but it's up to you. Just email it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I go I just want to thank my newest friend Margaret for always sharing such fun times and ideas with me. She found the links to the fun napkins and cups. Thanks Margaret!
Signing off until tomorrow...