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My Husband – My Hero – My Teacher

Sonoran Desert N of Phoenix AZ 40968

Image via Wikipedia

I married my husband almost 17 years ago and when we met he was just starting his teaching profession.  He was working day & night to prove to himself and those kids in his class that he was worthy to be their teacher and that he had something for them to learn every day and 17 years later he is still doing exactly the same thing.

Our school in South Phoenix, AZ, is a very small private school in a very low-income part of the city.  Although we have seen our neighborhood grow and in many ways prosper, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to education here it is still sadly lacking.  We have about 50-60 students each year and we work on the old school-house principle.  We have K4-1st grade in 1 class and 2nd-4th grade in another, and my husband teaches 5th-8th grade all subjects. (Yup – he’s very smart! – all our teachers are very gifted.)

I love to see his kids come in to his class from the public school system at 5th, 7th or even 8th grade who can’t read or write their own names and leave with purpose, discipline, motivation and the ability to learn and become more than they ever thought they could be. Not every child who comes in to the school goes on to achieve “greatness” – that would be me telling more than a “tall tale”.  But I have seen children learn to read and how to socialize with kids & adults – re-purpose their goals and ultimately their futures with tools that have been gladly given to them.

Yes, we charge a tuition – a free education can be had at the public school, and the Arizona Charter School system leaves so much to be desired that we decided years ago that if the parents cared enough to pay even the lowest of tuitions they would care enough to back their children in all they wanted to do with their lives.  We’ve seen children come out of our neighborhood (27 years in the love of educating children) and go on to full scholarships: become doctors, lawyers, international baccalaureate members, scientists and excel in film as well as many other realms of creative and caring avenues.

So, when I say that my husband is my hero and my teacher – I really mean that – He teaches me every day how to open my heart to one more person – to see beyond what that person is wearing, the color of their skin, or the accent in their voice. He shows me that even in a little neighborhood in South Phoenix, AZ, our little school, in love, compassion and education can make a HUGE difference!

To blog or not to blog?

Is that the question? – So many people say you have to blog to get your message out there to the masses. But do we have to do everything to get people to understand where you’re coming from? Why you want to help people? Why you want people to know they can trust what you say?

It’s all so much sometimes, that I feel I’ll explode – I want to show people that what I do is wonderful – for them, for their homes & families & for the planet – so many articles and companies are out there all saying the same thing.

So, how do I show people that I am someone they can trust? How do I show them that my company is different? My mind runs in a thousand different directions all at the same time – I know they say it can’t be done – but dog-gone-it – that’s exactly what happens to me, and THEN…the freeze! Where do I start? What method of communication do I use to get out there in front of people?

Facebook, Twitter, Blogging – all designed to introduce myself to you. But, how can you know me without experiencing me? My thoughts, my feelings, my loves & my pains. – Oh – Do I want you to know all that? I don’t know – Does it take “knowing me” to get you to see what my passions are? I don’t know, but I’m committed to learning! But, where does learning stop & implementation begin?

Renee Preis (www.reneepreis.com) showed me that sometimes I have to step back from what I’m doing in my head, put it on paper and see where to go from the learning to the passion to the earning.

Time slips away so quickly – it is like I look at the clock and it is 4a.m. and the next time I stop & look up its 7a.m. – where did that 3 hours go? Did it help advance my goals? Was it time spent in productivity? I don’t play games or go to the millions of different sites that scream out – HERE – Waste your time and money here – I can teach you what you need to know to make a million $$ in the next 48 hours…OMG – there are 1000’s of those mind-sucking websites.

So, I ask – To blog or not to blog? If I do this every morning for the next 7 days – just throw my thoughts down in this blog…maybe I will be able to see what people are looking for? – what are you looking for?

And, the biggest question – How may I help you!

Helping In Small Ways

In an article by Kristen Jacoway in the http://www.reachpersonalbranding.com/newsletter/current/ I was moved to not only share the article, but to in-fact pass it on in its entirety…

She writes – Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a job seeker learn about the latest and greatest tools to help you succeed.

No Job, No Home, No Food – Will You Help?
Perhaps this issue’s column should be entitled “Using the Web for Good!” Given the fact that we are approaching the holidays, I wanted to re-post from my website. The following article was and continues to be one of the most popular that I’ve written. I have been trying to perform random acts of kindness this season – giving a waitress a tip that amounted to the purchase price of the meal, paying for someone’s coffee behind me at a coffee shop, and more. As we approach the holidays, remember that for some people, this is a time of their darkest moments. Most of us are filled with hope, joy, and family. At the same time others are wondering how they will feed their family, much less buy gifts.

This past weekend, I saw a man holding a sign that said, “No Job, No Home, Please Help” kneeling on one knee at the entrance of where people turn to get on the interstate. We have all seen the signs, “Will Work for Food” and other signs like it amid the recession and high unemployment rates. What can we do to help? The image especially troubles me at this time of the year, but indeed, breaks my heart year-round. I want to help, like many of you, but have not been sure of a good way to help.

I identified some items you can easily have in your car to help those that are holding those signs.

Ideas for Hospitality Bags

Look up “Shelters” in your Yellow Pages and put the shelter (s) name on a card with their address and phone number. Have some calling cards available to give to people so that they know where to go and call for help.

From e-How, I found the things you’d want to include in a Hospitality Bag (written by Bob Waldrop). You can view the full article here, “How to Make a Hospitality Bag to Help the Homeless.” Below are some of Mr. Waldop’s suggestions:

•Paper lunch bags
•Small packaged foods like Vienna sausages, sardines, peanut butter and crackers, etc.
•Granola or “power” bars
•Clean socks
•Hand lotion
•Hard candies
•Small servings of canned fruit or pudding
•Plastic zip lock bag
•Dry washcloth
•Small soap
•Napkin and spoon
Some other ideas for your hospitality bag include potted meat, individual sizes of peanut butter, applesauce, juice boxes, individual packages of nuts or cheese crackers, bottled water, and / or individual packages of cereal.

You could also assemble hygiene bags to distribute that include such things as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, toothpaste, dental floss, and / or diapers. At this time of the year, having some extra gloves, hats, blankets, sweat-shirt, sweat pants, or anything warm is a very helpful . You never know if there might be an entire family affected and this person is the one who is going out looking for help.

You may decide to go and purchase a meal for them at a fast food restaurant so that they may have a warm meal.

A homeless man in Paris

Image via Wikipedia

I have seen many people in a public place (i.e. in the downtown area, by the interstate, etc.) and it would be very easy to have these kits available in my car to give to someone. I’ve read where one man assembles these types of kits (including the blankets) in a thrift store backpack to hand out to people. Of course, be careful and approach people with caution. Make sure you are in a busy area where other people are present.

Kill-A-Watt – A must have for today’s utility smart consumer

A clothes dryer.

Image via Wikipedia

 

Just by plugging this device http://shortenme.net/3793 in to the wall and plugging your electricity run equipment in to it, you can see what exactly you should be shutting off every time you’re not using them! 

Specific examples of the real world decisions that this product can help you make include: 

Should I bother to turn that computer off at night?
Will it pay me to trade in that old refrigerator (dish washer, clothes dryer, etc.) that is working fine for a new high efficiency refrigerator?
When I turn down the thermostat on the Air Conditioner how much more money is it costing me?
How much does it matter what speed I set on the plug-in ceiling fan?
Experts say that a full refrigerator costs less to run than an empty refrigerator. Can I save money by putting jugs of water in my half-full refrigerator? If so – how much per month?
What does it cost me to use the feature nearly all manufacturers build into their TVs that enables them to turn on instantly? Should I instead buy a simple plug switch and wait 10 or 15 seconds for the TV to warm up every time that I turn it on?
I keep the battery charger for my phone, electric drill, PDA, etc. plugged in continuously for convenience. How much is this costing me per month? 

Check out the link to this device and give it a try – I think you’ll be amazingly surprised! 

Toxins are EVERYWHERE in our Children’s Lives

Do you have the resources to remove the toxins from the products you use every day? – Actually you do…

Most products bear the warning “Keep Out of Reach of Children” in bold type on the label. As consumers, we believe that if our children don’t ingest these products they will not be harmed by them. Consider though that the most common methods of exposure are through the skin and respiratory tract.

Children are frequently in contact with the chemical residues housecleaning products leave behind, by crawling, lying and sitting on the freshly cleaned floor. Children, especially infants and toddlers, frequently put their fingers in their mouths and noses, increasing risks for exposure. When infants eat solid food, how common is it that the food is placed directly on a high chair tray that has just been wiped down with a household cleaner or dish detergent?

Another factor is that, pound for pound, children’s’ exposure levels are higher than adults’ because, although the amount of chemicals in an exposure remains equal, children’s bodies are smaller so the concentration is stronger, essentially. Also, their immune systems are still developing. Thus, children are probably the highest risk population for chemical exposures through cleaning products.

For many of these same reasons, pets may also be at risk. Other populations with a pronounced risk are breast cancer victims, the elderly, asthma and allergy sufferers and those with compromised immune systems.

http://green.wikia.com/wiki/Toxins_in_Household_Cleaning_Products

Follow the link to read more, but it is so much more than that – we are all living and working, running & playing 24 hours a day and many days it seems we’re doing it all  just to keep our heads above water.  We, as a society, suffer from burn-out, disappointment and sheer exhaustion and we find ourselves reaching out for anything that will bring a little relief and a little peace to our lives, our thoughts, our very beings.

When we have good news – there are only 2 reasons we don’t share it with someone. Because either we really don’t love or care for that person, or we have no confidence in our message.

(I am the Green Products Lady at www.arizonawomennetworking.com and www.crememagnolia.net and I would love to show you in a free 30 minute consultation how to bring green in to your world. – you can also reach me at distinctinspirations@gmail.com)

Healthier New Year – For YOU!

Have I lost my mind? Am I too old to start a company of my own? Even if it is a part-time, home-based business? I don’t know, but I’m jumping in with both feet and I’m going to give it my all. I’ve joined up with a woman who was recruited in to the health & wellness industry and who has really found the way to make it work for her. She’s not afraid of hard work and neither am I, so I’m hoping that while I benefit her team, she in turn will teach me the tricks she’s learned over the last 10 years.

It would be silly for me to try to re-invent the wheel. She’s successful because she has other people who have helped her and now, she is paying it forward with me.

I saw an article today on MSN.com http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/34277078/ns/today-today_fashion_and_beauty/?GT1=43001 asking “Is my mascara toxic” and realize how prevelent so many toxins are in our homes, in our hands, and on our children’s bodies every day.

It is scary – I’ve even learned recently that many, if not all, of the cleaning products we use are full of deadly poisons that we unaware of. I’m not trying to be the chicken crying out “the sky is falling”, but even the dryer sheets we use to soften our pillowcases with actually contain formaldehyde and we lay our heads on pillowcases hoping for a peaceful nights sleep and wonder why we wake up day after day with dull headaches that never go completely away…Well DUH!

We’ve used our cleaning products year after year with no real thought to how they might be affecting our children and this planet we all live on. Scientists are now studying links between these toxins to such things as ADD, ADHD and even Autism. There are better alternatives – and we have to get the word out – – we don’t have to keep poisoning our children, our grandchildren and the planet itself…

People may wonder why I chose the name Distinct Inspirations for my business name…I found that when I wanted to start my own company, I wanted something very different in my pursuits – Distinct to me stands for unique and Inspirations meant motivation. A unique motivation is exactly what has led me to the company I am now with.

Healthier supplements that actually absorb in to our body, cleaning products that are better at their job AND better for us…non-toxic, completely safe, with no Skull & Bones on the bottles – Unique Motivation – Distinct Inspirations -I look forward to hearing from many of you – because this is the “last business” I will have to build.

With better products than you can find in your stores and safer, at better prices than even your local dollar store for many of them – who wouldn’t want that for their famliy and that’s why I know many of you will be in touch! I’m a Granny too and I am horrified by what I’ve used in my home all these years. But, not any more…CONTACT ME at distinctinspirations@gmail.com for more information!!!

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