Monday, January 4, 2010

Fresh Starts

There were lots of mentions of fresh starts in our discussion of New Years' resolutions...I really like that idea...especially after just doing the inventory count and knowing that I will be heading to CHA (the big buying show for 2010), in Anahem, CA at the end of the month, and getting new stuff for the store...that counts, doesn't it? I have been hearing about some great releases, especially the new portable Sizzix big shot and all the Tim Holtz dies, as well as new TH embellishments in the Idealogy line...and then there are the new inks from Ranger, new stamps from Stampers Anonymous, and I guess there will be lots of other new stuff there , too...I think a lot of you who made comments here have come in and gotten some of the BeadsforLife items...thank you so feels very good to me to be connected to the very hard-working women in Uganda who are doing such a great job for themselves, their children & families and for their entire villages. I wish some wonderful "
fresh starts" to all of them, too.
Here is a photo of this week's is two handmade tags (made by Kate), a la the style of the Tim Holtz Christmas tags from this past year..along with one of the stamps used in one of the tags..the lamppost. Leave me a comment and you are entered to win this item. Here is this week's question.
Has there been a person in your life who has influenced you in an important way? (I reserve the right to re-ask this and have you mention another person, at some later date...we all probably have more than one...and I, for one, would love to continue hearing these stories...but for now, just one person.) Let's all assume that our mothers or fathers rank up there pretty high..and pick someone different...and maybe share why. I was very influenced, when my first child went to nursery school, by the main teacher at the school. She was so fair and reasoned with all the children, and both knew all about children and imparted her wisdom freely to all the parents. I have always felt a debt of gratitude to her because I believe that she helped me become the kind of parent I wanted to be. She may never read this but I will just say, "Thank you, Marietta." (I am quite sure that she is aware of her wonderful effect on all who crossed her path.)
One other thought...I would love to hear some suggestions for "question of the week." If you have some good or many ideas...please e mail them to me as a reply to the newsletter. (or send to Put "question ideas" in the subject line. Don't post them here, because I want people to be surprised!!


  1. Mrs. Fitz my third grade teacher. She installed a love of reading that has lasted a lifetime. She made everything magical, from reading to the study of Africa. I think of her often with complete admiration.

  2. Someone who has really shaped who I am as a person is an old friend of mine named Bill Geddes. I was always a shy and retiring young lass, and never very good at sports. I met Bill when I was 16 and he was 23. He encouraged me to be more adventurous and try new things, in particular he told me to try out for the Salisbury Beach Lifeguards. I didn't think I had what it took to make ocean rescues, to brave the 45 degree Atlantic Ocean in May. But Bill was a great athlete, and he believed I could do I tried out and I made the squad. I subsequently spent the next 7 summers having the time of my life patrolling Salisbury Beach as a lifeguard. Through Bill I also learned to live life to the fullest. I started jogging, I ran road races, I started cycling, I did long distance open water swims, I did triathlons, I went hiking & traveled for tournaments, I kayaked, and I developed a life-long love of the ocean. He taught me that people appreciate directness, and to always keep in touch with my inner child-like spirit. Unfortunately Bill is no longer in my life, but the things I learned from him I still practice today and are still some of my core interests (besides shopping at Absolutely Everything, of course!)

  3. Probably the person who has influenced me was my son. Brian had red hair a killer smile and cerebral palsy. He was nonverbal but he said more with his face and vacalizations than most people say with words. The life lessons he taught me are way too numerous to list here. But I am a much better person because he was in my life!!!

  4. When I was a kid, there was no public library in our town (there still isn't). But the Bookmobile came once a month from the state library. The person in charge always allowed me to take out the maximum number of books as did my two sisters and my mother. We thus had a combined wealth of materials to read, fiction and nonfiction, poetry and biography. One of my sisters used to keep a card catalogue on all of the books we read, and she and I both grew up to become librarians at various times in our adult lives. Having access to books was a precious gift in my childhood years thanks to that person who brought the Bookmobile to my rural town each month.

  5. I have an Aunt Dorraine...who has been a great influence on me. First as a child...I spent time at their house...BUT more now as an adult. She is the most SINCERELY positive person I know. You know how some people are positive and upbeat to a sickenly sweet excess? Not my Aunt...she is just plain positive...and i love that about her. When I am with her I am reminded to be positive too!
    Dancingly, Denise
    watch me as I declutter, CREATE and crockpot cook my way through 2010 at

  6. There is no one on earth who influenced me nearly as much as my older sister Maria. She was an amazing woman, and everyone loved her. She taught me so much before her untimely death at 38 years of age, but I'd have to say that the biggest and most important lesson that she taught me was to love and appreciate people exactly as they are. Too often we try to change people--think of who they used to be, or who they could or "should" be, or try to make them into someone they aren't. My sister found something wonderful about everyone she ever met--and she befriended people from all walks of life, everywhere she went. She loved every single person exactly as they were and never expected them to be something else. Everyone was important to her, from the president of the bank to the person who slept on the street. She treated everyone as an equal--viewed everyone as something of a miracle. She reminded me that everyone has something special about them, even if in some people it takes more uncovering to find it. That often the effort you put into those people was commensurate with the reward. I'll miss her every day of my life, but I'm grateful that she gave me the gift of that level of appreciation for everyone. When my sister died, her funeral was hugely attended, and everyone there told the same stories of kindness about her. How in some cases, she was the only one who had ever accepted them just as they were, and loved them fully. I hope that I can live up to her example, and spread the message of tolerance and love that she was only given such a short time to share. It's the only thing I can do to honor the woman she was, and say thank you to her for all she gave me and all of us.

    --Barbara Doyle

  7. I, like you, have been most influenced by a teacher. Anyone who has kids knows that there are moments of frustration - we all want the best for our kids - and it tears us apart when we don't see them living to their potential. I was very fortunate to have this wonderful woman in my children lives for about 8 years - she helped me understand and accept the mind of a gifted child .... if it was not for her, I would probably in an insane asylum or in prison for murder! She helped them to appreciate their gifts and be able to function in society.
    Thanks for the thought provoking question. I need now to write this wonderful woman a note!

  8. My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Rotella helped build my confidence and self-esteem at a young age. I was a reluctant math student who he took under his wing and patiently tutored so that I could be successful. I knew I was liked and that he loved teaching. Years later when I was a college student, Mr. Rotella hired me to work under him in a summer recreation program for neighborhood children. It was then he told me that he was so fond of me when I was in his class, that he named his first dtr. Susan, after me! I shared with him that it was because of his inspiration that I decided to become a teacher.

  9. Jenn Said..
    I admire my friend Richard I have known him for over 18 years. When everyone else turned their backs on me & walked out of my life. When things got tough & and I needed friends Richard encouraged me to keep on going with life & NOT to give on GOD what matters the most to me. He still talks to me I have been friends with him & his with & family for over 18 years. Even thou we don't talk every day when we do it is like yesterday wa sthe last time.

  10. One of the people who influenced me the most was Gertrude Mellett. I met when I was 9 years old and auditioned for her church choir. When she was 88 years old she had to have her right leg amputated just below the knee from years of diabetes. This meant that she could no longer play the organ. She taught herself to use her left foot on the piano peddles and continued to play piano at church until her death well into her 90s. Music was everything to Gertrude and she taught be to "bloom where I'm planted" - a lesson that I still try to live by every day.