Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free Compliments!

I'm at Parish Cafe working on my book with my writing buddy, Laura. Since it started to drizzle, we moved from our patio table inside into the too cool air conditioning. Good thing I brought my favorite (although holey) cashmere sweater. But, back to the point...

Today's newspaper is lying on the big farm table where we are now camped out with our computers. An article caught my eye and inspired me to immediately halt progress on my book and write a blog post about it. It made me happy, and I want to share the warm fuzzy.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, two Purdue University undergraduates, Brett Westcott and Cameron Brown, started complimenting students every Wednesday on their campus outside the chemistry building. They noticed how encouraged people seemed by their efforts, so they kept at it. (I for one, could have used some compliments after I left my college chemistry class.)

A U-tube video of "The Compliment Guys" went viral, and now they are on a 10-city bus tour sponsored by Kodak. How nuts is that? I love that even though they have corporate sponsorship, they still use a handmade sign that says, "Free Compliments." (I'm all about handmade. No glitter though. Well, they are boys.) Since they are helping people to look on the bright side of life, they've named their trip, "The Bright Side Tour."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is the Kind of Grandmother I Want to Be

One of my long term goals is to be a Sun City Cheerleader. This group of women, ages 61-81, don their cheerleading mini-skirts and perform all over Arizona.

Oh, to dance around in front of a crowd with pom poms again! This thought makes getting wrinkles bearable (and keeps me motivated to exercise and eat well as I get older).

This is the kind of grandmother I want to be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Find Your HAPPY Weight

As a dietitian and wellness coach, I help women find their happy weight. Yes, I am aware that happy and weight are rarely used in the same sentence. I'm on a one-woman crusade to change that.

"What," you may now be asking, "is a happy weight?"

A happy weight:
  • is a weight where you feel comfortable and confident
  • is a weight that supports your health and happiness
  • is a weight you can reach and maintain without extreme measures
Finding your happy weight may include more than changing the way you look. It may involve changing the way you see.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today I am thankful for....
  • blooming crepe myrtle trees and fragrant magnolias (we didn't have these in Boston!)
  • sundresses and sandals
  • sunshine and summertime
  • fluffy white clouds in a baby blue sky
  • fresh cherries and my associated childhood memories of cherry picking
  • the people who read my blog (that's YOU!) And to those who leave comments, you put me over the top with gratitude. If you only knew how excited I get each time I read one of those precious comments!
As you go about your day today, pause and take a moment to notice all the things and people you are grateful for. I promise this simple task will enhance your day and double your happiness.

Glitter is my crack

Glitter is my crack. Nothin' gets me goin' like the glitter aisle at a craft store. So much raw potential. Red, blue, pink, silver, green, gold, oh my. Someone hold me back- I've got a drawer full at home already and I still want more.

Hi, my name is Kathianne and I've got a glitter problem.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Unexpected Grief

Isn't it funny how grief works?

You think you are doing okay. Moving ahead and looking forward. You can talk about your loss without feeling sad. And then- POW- when you least expect it, the floodgates open. The tears come and they won't stop. And you wonder, maybe I wasn't as okay about it as I thought I was.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let's Get Crafty: Personalized Journal

Last week I started a new book entitled, The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. The book is a 12-week program to nourish my spirit and my creativity. The program includes journal assignments. (Please check back with me in a few weeks to make sure I am on track.) Anyway, here I was excited to get started, and the used bookstore where I bought the book didn't carry journals. And the drug store next door only had standard school composition books (the kind with the black and white speckled covers) and 3-ring notebooks.
Q: What's a girl to do?
A: Buy a standard composition book and get crafty!
Here it is:
All but 4 of the images I used were from magazine pages or junk mail. It's my favorite kind of recycling!

If you want to make your own, in addition to your composition book and magazine pages you will need a glue brush and some glue (My favorite for this type of project is Modge Podge. You can get it at any craft store.) I also put an extra coat of Modge Podge over the art afterwards to keep it protected.

I hope you enjoy this idea. Let me know if it inspires you to get crafty!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reflections from the Old Folks Home

Two weekends ago, my sister and I had a sleep-over at my parents' home. It was quite an adventure. Several years ago they moved from the house we grew up in into a retirement community. My mother has Alzheimer's and taking care of her, a large house, lawn, and vegetable garden was just too much for my father.

I don't know how my father does it. So far he has shunned all outside help and is doing this all by himself. Taking care of someone with no short-term memory is a challenge. Even when I know it is not her fault, is it hard not to get snappy when she asks, "Where is my purse?" 5 times in the past 5 minutes (no exaggeration). I must seem callous, but until you have been there, you have no idea. As I have mentioned in countless other posts, I struggle with patience. This was quite the learning opportunity for me to gain some. (Once again, I don't know how he does it. I was there less than 48 hours, he is there 24/7.)

People with Alzheimers' disease gradually lose their memory. This includes remembering how to dress, bathe, and other activities of daily living. My tough and manly Dad has had to learn how to pick out Mom's clothes and put on her undergarments. (She's old school. Think girdle.) It's like taking care of a child, but painful. The child is learning to become independent. My mom is becoming more dependent with each passing day. Plus, my parents used to be equals and provide support for each other. Sometimes now she doesn't know who he is.

There were moments of frustration, laughter, and sadness that weekend. But there were two moments that I hope to hold forever in my memory. One was when he was facing her and combing her hair, getting her ready for church. The other was when my sister and I were leaving and they were walking hand-in-hand away from us. Both were endearing beyond words and held me momentarily spellbound.

My weekend at the old folk's home convinced me this disease is the utmost challenge of love. After almost 55 years of marriage, they are putting their vows to the test. In health and in sickness. I am in awe.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Quote To Inspire

Don't ask yourself what what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
-Harold Whitman

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day

On July 4th, 2001, I walked into a bar and my life changed forever.

Some may call it ironic that I met my future "ball and chain" on Independence Day. I think the irony is that in the 8 years we've been together, I've discovered and gained the confidence to be my authentic individual self. He accepts me just as I am (and I sadly confess that this is not always reciprocal). He nourishes my artistic self and believes in me. I came into my own because of his unconditional love and acceptance.

Everyone deserves someone who can believe in them before they can believe in themselves. Everyone deserves someone who can see them. Really see them. And love them in spite of it. Love them because of it.

Because of him, I found the liberty to be myself. And bloom.