Art Appearing on Boughs

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The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.’  ~Robert M. Pirsig 

It is surely nearing Christmas time! When the Kiwanis Club of Steamboat begins selling their annual ornament at places around town, the holidays are drawing close. Beginning this weekend, the ornament will be available for buying. 

Our club’s major fundraising campaign is selling ornaments. From the proceeds we buy gifts for needy children at Christmas time, provide funding to send children to science camp, provide “Where to Worship” brochures for people visiting the area. We can be proud of our other random acts of service in our home town, too. 

This year, a talented and nationally known artist, Jean Perry helped us in fulfilling our interest in decorating the ornaments a little differently this year. Jean gave permission to Kiwanis to use an image of her painting “Fish Creek Falls” to embellish the bauble. 

It is a fair trade! Many visitors to the area purchase the ornaments in commemoration of their trip to Steamboat. They will take them as gifts to family and friends in other States, too. The ornaments will hang on boughs of Christmas trees far beyond Steamboat Springs,Colorado and people will become acquainted with the artist’s work. Good deal! 

Kiwanis of Steamboat is grateful to painter Jean Perry for her generosity in sharing her art, so that as a Club, we can “serve children of the world.” For more information on the artist, please visit

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Closing out a Chapter

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“The heart’s intention is the measure of all things.”-Maimonides

Today, Kiwanis International is on my mind. Perhaps because Monday is the day our Steamboat Springs chapter of the service organization meets. 

Did you know every nine minutes, a newborn from somewhere around the world dies from tetanus? This shouldn’t occur. The vaccine is available and inexpensive.($1.80 per vaccination). Kiwanis International and UNICEF have partnered to eliminate this fatal disease. 

All Kiwanians look forward to the day when fulfilling this mission is complete. This service organization has already proven a project of this scale can be successfully accomplished by the global elimination global of iodine deficiencies disorders. This new mission to eliminate neo-natal and maternal tetanus can be achieved, too. It will mean closing out a chapter of worry in the lives of mothers in far off places around the globe. Sixty one million child bearing women in 38 countries will be protected against the deadly disease of MNT. 

You can do your part by learning more about the good work of Kiwanis in local communities and around the globe. Join in and “serve the children of the world.”

Thanks for hearing my plea. And one more thing – Today is Halloween so be on the watch for little ghosts and goblins as they they walk down the street trick or treating. Please slow down and be alert!

Coming tomorrow, more independent thoughts, words and views from

Mellifluous Monday

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Mellifluous: “Flows like honey, smooth and sweet.” Sounds like a very fulfilling way to live life and an apropos adjective to describe my week ahead. 

The first day of the business week – attending weekly Kiwanis meeting. Always worthwhile because it’s “an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, one child and one community at a time.”

  • Tuesday – Meet-up at City Café in Steamboat Springs,Colorado at 4pm. Our third monthly meeting of SHe Writes Steamboat. Lots of independent publishing business to tend to this month. Susan Mead, MH will also be presenting her book “Take Back your Body.”
  • Wednesday – stay tuned to the back story of an author and actress who took the stage on The Days of our Lives.
  • Thursday – Come on back to All Things Fulfilling. We will be on a blog tour with an interview of an author and actress whose life converged with mine due to common interests.
  • A music banquet feast at the end of the week. On Friday night Grammy nominated artist Eliza Gilkyson, world-renowned, singer-songwriter  John Gorka (with 11 albums to his name)  and  Winner of Best Pop Album of the year for the Association of Independent Music, Lucy Kaplansky will join forces. Their band Red Horse will entertain at Strings in the Mountains I’ll be there to help people to their seats! 

    This summer is slipping away quickly. Kids will soon be back to school. Take advantage of the next few weeks by treating your children to a museum, the theatre, art or culture of your favorite kind. It will broaden your child’s life experience and you may just stir up their  life-long love for the Arts.

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Bringing New Life

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Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech and a life of service and compassion are things that renew humanity.”      ~ Buddha 

On Monday night, my fellow Kiwanians and I gathered together to paint. There were no easels, cotton duck or linen canvases in sight. Not even a hardboard panel or a can of gesso anywhere to be found. Only drab, scratched surfaces, well-worn by hundreds of children’s hands and feet. 

We gathered at Young Tracks, a ChildCareCenter, to fulfill our obligations of volunteer service. We went about putting a fresh coat of stain on structures designed to shade the children from damaging ultra-violet rays, we put a fresh coat of paint on building trim work and worked at other tasks that were needed to spruce up the facility. 

When the tots return to the place they call their other “home,” they will probably be much too busy playing to notice the look of renewal and rejuvenation. But, our spirits as a club were lifted, as we once again served our promise to each other and to our organization of “improving the world, one child and one community at a time.” 

For more information on Kiwanis International and the work the service organization does in communities in this country and around the world, please visit

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Sixty Cents Saves a Life

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In all things it is better to hope than to despair.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Many of us have a laundry list of things we would like to eliminate that would make our lives so much more fulfilling. I have a  list and I’ll  bet you do, too! I would like to get rid of: 

  • Pesky flies that annoy me, to no end, on hot summer nights
  • The availability of parallel parking only, in some cities
  • Driving in snowstorms when the weatherman has reported clear skies.
  • Weeds that invade gardens
  • Mail that has been returned, to sender, for no apparent reason. 

As I began to put together this list of what I want to eliminate from my life, I realized they are only pet peeves. It became apparent that I have so very little to complain about. These things are all so petty and inconsequential! How fortunate that I am not in a place where what needs to be eliminated from my life isn’t the difference between life and death. 

Until now, there have been millions of families, in certain countries around the world, who have lost mothers and newborn children because they didn’t have the 60 cents to vaccinate against maternal and neo-natal tetanus. This is about to change! UNICEF and Kiwanis International have joined forces to eradicate tetanus all around the world, by providing resources for vaccinating against this fatal disease. Approximately one hundred twenty-nine million mothers and their unborn babies are currently unprotected against this disease. 

As a member of Kiwanis, I could not be more proud of this global project that will truly “change the world, one child and one community at a time.” For more information on Project Eliminate and what you can do to help, please visit If you are interested in becoming a member of this wonderful service organization, contact a town or city near you where Kiwanis has a club.  Find out when they meet, so you can visit as a guest. 

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International Communities of Women


No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it. “~ Andrew Carnegie

 The pressure was on this year, from my international friends. Last year on the 8th of March, I hadn’t a clue that it was a day to remember women all over the world. I woke up to Happy International Women’s Day greetings from a few of my friends, one from Macedonia and another from Australia. This year I wanted to remember this day of  global celebration of economic, political and social achievements of women , lest I be scolded for being a typical American – celebrating only the holidays that are heavily marketed here in the States.

Now, through the power of social media marketing, we can connect with women having similar values, interests, hobbies, business, political and social interests through the world-wide-web. There is an international community of women all faced with the same issue of fulfilling their responsibilities in the workplace while still getting the “job done” at home. Balancing home life and work life is a concern for the majority of women in today’s world. 

There are four common traits of leadership that women in all countries use for success in both the home and in the workplace.

  • Be Goal Oriented
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Use Emotional Intelligence
  • Know How to Delegate

 These leadership skills are as useful for the full-time family manager (aka stay at home mom) as they are to the women working full-time outside of the home. To read more information on how we can empower ourselves for successful living, in and out of the home, by using these management qualities, please visit

 Women on every continent are setting service organizations, business, and political communities on fire with their passion, their energy, their ideas and their leadership skills. Happy International Women’s Day to All, and a special shout out to women involved in Kiwanis International!

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Taking up Residence in a Library

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The library is a temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.” ~ Carl T. Rowan 

I am going to camp out at the Bud Werner Memorial Library this week. It will be a jammed-packed week and all the events on my schedule will be held….you guessed it, at the library! The Bud Werner Library, an almost brand-new facility, has become the epicenter of activity in town, fulfilling a need for a beautiful and light-filled community meeting place. It is a facility that both parents and kids love to visit. Steamboat Springs, Colorado is known as a town that places great emphasis on providing great resources and knowledge to the community through the local library. It is a hub of activity for locals and tourists after they leave the ski slopes, ice rink, ski jumping facilities and hot springs pool. Visiting the library is a fun place to spend some quiet time.

So, what’s up at the Bud Werner Library this week?

  • As a member of a service organization,, I received an invitation to meet a top public official for the State of Colorado, as he makes a brief swing through town. Myself and many of my fellow Kiwanis International members  will be in attendance along with members of other service organizations that have a presence in this town.
  • On Thursday, March 10 between 6:30pm to 7:30 pm, a presentation on Independent Publishing and E-Marketing will be offered. This event is sponsored by Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC The event is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about finding personal fulfillment, career advancement and increased visibility as an author and business-person through independent publishing. I look forward to sharing information about the power of  internet marketing and the fascinating and growing industry of non-traditional publishing.
  • On Friday, March 11 at 6:30 pm two award-winning short-documentary films, Getting to Know Us and Soul Mates will be shown at the Bud Werner Library. This event will be sponsored by the Macedonian Mission in remembrance of the Macedonian WWII Holocaust. It is a fundraising event ($10 suggested donation) for the purpose of sending school supplies to Macedonia. I am looking forward to this event, as a member of the non-profit’s Board. 

The Bud Werner Library is not faced with the dilemma of trying to get people in the doors. There is always something worthwhile happening at the library. It is difficult to find a good reason to stay away!

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Hatched Blessings

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Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.” ~ Ramona C. Carroll 

As summer slips into fall, I have decided to look back just one more time to reflect on the blessings of the summer, my favorite season of all. Focusing on what is positive in our lives, helps us to live a life fulfilled. Ordinary occurrences can become extraordinary depending on how we view them. By concentrating on our blessings rather than our woes, we live in the present moment, enjoying life to the fullest. Some of the highlights of my summer included: 

  • Returning to childhood for one glorious day of floating down the Yampa River in a tube!
  • Witnessing our child graduate from DeSales University  and recalling all the landmark steps in his life that came before it.
  • Participating in two fundraising events as a member of Kiwanis International. Knowing that Kiwanis will partner with Unicef to serve children all over the world through The Eliminate Project.
  • Learning that my husband has been invited to coach athletes at the World University Games this coming winter. What a thrill for him!
  • Eating peaches and sweet corn from Paradise, CO that rivals the summer produce I ate growing up in the state of Maryland. I didn’t think again in my life, I would find any as fine as that – but I have!
  • A return to Rocky Mountain National Park for one great day of sharing the splendorous sights with our son.
  • The opportunity to share with others, at several events, what independent publishing is all about.
  • Volunteering at Strings in the Mountains seeing some of the finest artists in the world perform right here in Steamboat Springs, CO.

It is time to say goodbye to summer and I can’t wait to see what a new season in my life has in store. I am sure it will be fulfilling, too.

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You are Worth it!

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The best thing you can do is be a teacher to young people” ~ Rick Pitino 

Have you ever asked any kind of volunteer “if it is worth it?” In my experience, many will respond “YES,  that volunteer work is both fulfilling and satisfying, and that is payment enough.” 

Last week at our Kiwanis meeting,, three mentors from the Partners in Routt County Program, a program associated with AmeriCorp., visited and spoke with the Kiwanians about the admirable work they do in mentoring children at risk.

The program pairs mentors with children, at local schools, who have been identified as being “at risk” for a number of reasons – perhaps poor family dynamics, drug or alcohol addiction problems, low self -esteem or kids who struggle socially or educationally. The mentors develop comfortable relationships with the at-risk children and they become someone the kids will confide in when things get rough. 

Did you ever wonder what your time is worth, as a volunteer? On average $20.58 per hour! However, it does to vary from State to State. To see what value your state of residence puts on volunteering, please visit

I was glad to hear that these valuable volunteers from Partners in Routt County are compensated by way of a small stipend and the benefits include being able to “pay back” educational debt. It makes volunteering even more worthwhile. However, what the volunteers are paid does not fully compensate for what these volunteers are worth according to the statistics given by the  chart. 

By donating their time, volunteers from Partners in Routt County are saying to each and every child they mentor “YOU ARE WORTH  IT!”  And that is like music to children’s ears!! 

Thank you, Volunteers – you are worth it, too!

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Special Olympics Fulfills Dreams


“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week we had a special guest at our weekly Kiwanis International  meeting! We were graced with the presence of a Special Olympian, who shared with us a few of the medals that she has earned and that decorate her room. She expressed the personal fulfillment and enjoyment she and all her friends find in participating as athletes in the Special Olympics.

Our Kiwanis Club also learned some of the history of the Special Olympics organization which was established in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. There are now athletes, with disabilities, in 150 countries around the world, that participate  in the Special Olympics. In 1977, the very first International Special Olympics Winter Games were held in the town of Steamboat Springs – of all places!

One of our Kiwaniians, of Macedonian heritage, went on to explain that thanks to the help of Kiwanis International, a chapter of the Special Olympics was formed in her native country in 2000 and it still exists very strongly to this day. The next International Special Olympics games will be held in the region of her roots, the Balkans. Athens, Greece will be hosting the Special Olympics from June 25 to July 4, 2011.

Without the help of scores of volunteers, the Special Olympics could not exist. Not only do the Special Olympians find satisfaction in being involved with this organization, it also brings great rewards to the volunteers who witness the smiles, the camaraderie and the motto, put into action,  of every special athlete  “Let me win. But, if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt.” 

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