My Creativity is Weak

In the last 11 days, we’ve covered about 4000 miles, while that’s not an extraordinary feat in itself, we did it with 5 days in one location in the middle.  This is what we do…drive.  I’m ok with it, it is the choice we make when we set our schedule, but when we’re doing that in December, I rarely remember how hard it was last June.

A numb butt = a numb mind.

My creativity is weak right now, I’m pretty sure it’s all the driving.  It’s been tough to capture a thought and carry it through to fruition.  So…if you’re looking for pure inspiration this week, you might have to join me next week for that.  Pro tip that I think I’ll try next time, if you look quickly to both the left and right, it’s supposed to spark creativity by bringing the two halves of your brain together.

Live oak vs. post oak. post oak tree

We are back in the Hill Country of Texas, just arrived a few hours ago and as I looked across the landscape I remembered a question I asked a few weeks ago.  What’s the difference between a live oak and a post oak.  You’ll find most real estate ads around here talk about them.  A post oak is deciduous, it loses its leaves each fall like most trees.  A Live oak is evergreen.  If you look online, you’ll find the discussion typically revolves around which is better for your barbecue, the consensus is live oak.


I’ve seen a lot of news articles and blogs quoting Wikipedia as their source of information.  Please don’t do that.  Wikipedia is an open source document that anyone can edit.  It can be edited for good or evil and you’ll never know which.  Statistics say 80% of Wikipedia is accurate, but it’s a little like the weather, how do you know which 80% that is? It’s ok to go to Wikipedia to get a general idea of something, but never rely on just that if you need a true source.  I think it’s cool that people can add to a big body of work like that and be part of something bigger.  But look for additional sources, always remember that just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true.


evernote logoI have a favorite app on my phone. Besides my bank app and Facebook, the app I use most is Evernote.  It’s a free app that I can organize my notes in.  I use it every day.  The cool part is that I can have it on two devices, so I use it on my laptop and my phone so I can sync info and be able to copy and paste.  I keep things organized with titles and different notebooks.  And, I can search it.  So if ever you are looking for a good notes app, consider Evernote.

Vivian Maier.Vivian Maier photograph 1967

Someone recently introduced me to Vivian Maier.  She was a street photographer from the 50’s through the 80’s.  What is interesting about Vivian is that no one knew she existed.  While she took pictures of so many things, mostly people on the streets of Chicago and New York, she never shared her work.  She was born in the U.S. but was raised in Europe, returning again in her teens.  She served as a nanny for several families in the cities and took photographs in her off time.

As she aged, it became more difficult for her to pay for the film to be developed, she continued to take pictures and didn’t develop them.  Her cases ended up in a storage unit that was eventually sold for non-payment.  There were six trunks in all, five have been recovered and the film has been developed to reveal a great photographer of our time.  Look her up. You will be impressed by her beautiful photos.  But while you’re looking, be sure you give some thought to your own gifts and whether or not you’re sharing them. Don’t be like Vivian, share your gifts.


fireworksIt’s almost time for 4th of July fireworks, did you know I use to be a pyrotechnic?  I have shot fireworks in California, Nevada, Alaska, Utah, Idaho and Arizona.  Most of the western states, we shot production shows, I was usually the girl with the cues in my ear shooting the show.  I know a lot about how to shoot safely, and that is one of the most important parts of a great fireworks show.  I have a hard time being around amateurs shooting in their driveways.

Here’s some things you may not know about fireworks.

  1. The diameter of the shell determines the height of the mortar. So if you have a 2” shell, you can expect it to explode at 200 feet and you need a 150 foot diameter fall-out zone (at 75%).  4” = 400’, 300’ fallout.
  2. Safety measures are the most important, think eye protection, helmet and fire extinguishers. Be prepared for yourself, but more importantly, the people around you.
  3. Fire is a real factor, especially in the western states. Be safe, watching fireworks is not worth the starting of a fire that may not be able to be put out.  Think before you light them.
  4. If you are shooting something besides cakes, make sure your racks are solid and well built. The shells should be a snug fit, always drop them so they go all the way to the bottom with the wick hanging out.
  5. If you add an electronic igniter, sometimes called a squib, so that you can shoot electronically giving yourself more room for safety, always use a knife or ceramic scissors instead of anything that is metal on metal, you don’t want to create a spark.
  6. If you are working with a large amount of fireworks, make sure you know your escape route, and that of anyone around you. Bad things happen to good people sometimes, make sure you are prepared to get out of the way.

With all that said, have a safe 4th of July.


I’m been watching my Newsfeed lately and see the Jaycees are having a big membership push. The Jaycees or Junior Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1920, next January they will celebrate 100 years of been providing opportunities for young people to get involved in the community.  To learn leadership training through Community Service.

For a lot of years it was like most fraternal organizations of the time that only allowed men.  In the 1980’s, they let women join.  I joined in 1988 as a charter member of the Blackfoot Jaycees.  In 1989, a good friend, Larry Hogg, ran for state president and I served as his treasurer.  In 91, no one wanted the state president job, so Larry talked me in to running, I was supposed to be a shoe-in, no one else was running, turned out Ron Nicklas had been tasked with talking someone else in to running, so now we had to campaign too.  I was the lucky one, I won, it was an exciting campaign, before the voting was counted on that Saturday morning, I was sick to my stomach, I told Larry I wanted to concede the election to my opponent, he told me to sit down.  I asked again, I was sure I had lost the election.

Jaycees ended up being the biggest single change factor in my life.  I learned more about me in that year than I thought possible.  I grew exponentially, I changed, I blossomed.  I became a girl afraid of very little, I could give speeches at the drop of a hat, I could make decisions, I could persuade.  All of those things I learned by leading people.  The Idaho Jaycees and by extension, the national organization taught me how to lead.  I have a friend right now serving as the president of the Texas Jaycees, I can’t wait to see how she grows.

So what are the Jaycees?  A leadership organization for young people ages 18 to 40 to grow their skills through Community Service.  It was the original “safe” space.  A place you could screw up an event and get a reward.  We worked hard and played hard.  I met some incredible people who I am still in touch with today.  Our lives have changed much in the last 30 years, but we still have a bond.  If you look closely at the people in your community getting things done, you’ll find a high percentage of them were Jaycees.

If you have a young person, or you are a young person who wants to get involved in the community.  You want to run charitable events and practice your leadership skills, it’s worthwhile to join.  Annual dues are low, but like anything worth doing, the more you put in to it, the more you’ll get out of it.  Because “service to humanity is the best work of life!”

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