Single Compliment = Double Joy – Wise Words Wednesday

Compliments - Twain

“I can live two months on one good compliment.” – Mark Twain

In the cafeteria line yesterday, Donnie (a neighbor and coworker) told me he really liked my story on “those Charolais cattle.” Donnie raises Charolais himself, but I never took him to be a reader. I was so honored that he read my post. My joy was enhanced as he said, “I like what you said. I’m gonna read some more.”

My head was so big; they had to add a second line to the lunch cue.

Donnie reminded me how important it is to share our appreciation for the efforts of others.

As in Mr. Twain’s quote above, I find greater inspiration when I know my work has been enjoyed.

What motivates you to create, write, or work harder?

Continue reading “Single Compliment = Double Joy – Wise Words Wednesday”

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Intentergy Turned 2

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On February 14th I celebrated the 2nd Anniversary of Intentergy.

While the last few weeks things have been quiet on the site, my writing has been anything but silent.

My family took a terrific trip that has no fewer than 15 posts in draft. My students continue to provide me with love, learning, and laughter that I promise to share. As always the farm has me on high alert for lessons that can only come from caring for livestock and the land.

To celebrate my 2nd blogging anniversary, I would like to share links to some of my favorite posts from the past.

curve ball (2)Curve Balls – A story inspired by the curve pitch and how to handle the figurative curve balls in our lives.

Zone Defense for Your Attitude – Today, if you find yourself crowded by grumpiness or fouled by foulness of others, put up your positivity defenses.

For the Love of the Game – A post inspired by my father’s practice of watching games without sound. Sometimes the quiet allows us to know what is really going on in life.

Angelfood Cake – A Tradition of Grace – A story inspired by our parish dinner. The angel food cakes I bake are not in my honor but in honor of Miss Grace Jansen.

Not just a pieWhy is it Easy as Pie? Pies are Hard. – Another story inspired by parish picnics reminding us that effort can lead to tasty rewards.

Emergency Room Enlightenment – A visit to our local emergency room helped me to see that it really is a small world and my efforts as a writer were helpful to others.

You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out – I really don’t have life figured out. None of us do. This was a reminder that we don’t have to have it all figured out.

The OTHER Serenity Prayer – A tribute to a modified version of my favorite prayer

29 gifts and meMeeting Cami Walker – Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge – After reading 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, I was inspired to start my blog and have since had the chance to become friends with its author Cami Walker.

Signs of Faith – Visiting the local ambulance district served to provide an very important reminder about those who serve our communities.

No Bull - communicateCommunication is Important – No Bull! A story inspired by the purchase of some Charolais cattle by my husband that led to a breach in the happiness of our home. (Happiness was definitely restored and the cattle are enjoying their role on our farm.)

Overalls and a Pocket Watch –The story of remembering my Grandfather and his special things that left their mark on my heart.Grandpa Frank

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Intentergy is energy with a positive purpose. I hope you will put energy into being positive today.

P.P.S. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, or shared my blog during the last two years. Your support has made all the difference.

 

Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday

Opportunity Visits

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor”Into the Woods

These words always seem to pop up in my life at just the right time.

For the last month, I have not been writing much (the whole, “I’m too busy” thing). Each day that I don’t write separates me from the messages I wish to share and the healthy practice of jotting down my thoughts and experiences. Those thoughts and experiences may not come again. Reflecting on this quote from Into the Woods, I find myself with renewed vigor for writing and encouraging others to share their own thoughts and works.

What talent or passion have you been neglecting?

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

I have wrestled with finding time to take a break for myself. Creating opportunities for quiet, peaceful time with my family has also failed to make its way into my schedule. If I don’t instigate those calm, restorative moments with my family and for myself, who will?

Please take time for yourself and those you love. Peace has to begin in our hearts and homes before it can be found all over Earth. Continue reading “Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday”

Spilling into 2018

Spill into 2018 1

Less than three sips into my first glass of New Years Eve wine, I knocked over the entire cup in a fit of excitement to show my “good” coat to a friend. The wine flowed right on over to the corner of a jacket laying on the table. It was NOT my coat. AAAHHHH!

I quickly wiped the coat off and dried up the table.

Then the worry set in.

I HAD to find the owner of the coat.

What if it was their “good” coat?

What if they yelled at me?

What if they told everyone I was a raving drunk, who destroyed their coat and any hopes of a happy new year? (I may be exaggerating, but I really was worried.)

I asked everyone I saw if the coat was thiers, but had no luck locating its owner.

I was just about to trudge the walk of shame to the front of the dance and kindly ask the amazing band singer if I could borrow his microphone. I needed to find the owner of that coat. As I went back to grab the coat, the cutest, little brunette was getting something from the purse next to THE COAT.

Continue reading “Spilling into 2018”

What Color Are Your Pancakes?

Blue Pancakes (6)

Blue pancakes are the usual in our household (when we have pancakes). I usually like to keep my breakfast dates with friends (when I can schedule breakfast dates). This past week my friend Erin and I had a breakfast date planned, but my sitter situation became bleak. I offered to make breakfast at my home (if Erin didn’t mind the three-ring circus running around while we visited). She was cool with hanging out at my house so we kept our date.

Blue Pancakes (7)As I was whipping up the pancakes, my youngest son asked if the pancakes would be blue. My daughter soon chimed in that she really wanted blue pancakes too (after all our pancakes are usually blue). I wasn’t sure how Erin would react to blue pancakes, so I left half the batch plain and the other half was blue. When Erin arrived, the kids stampeded to let her in and were in full three-ring circus mode. It seemed only right that there were blue pancakes.

In true awesome Erin fashion, she said, “I’m down with blue pancakes,” and happily ate blue and plain colored flapjacks with my family.

What color are your pancakes? Do you have a special breakfast tradition in your household?

As we begin the season of holiday feasting, think about the traditions that been upheld by your loved ones. My mom’s side of the family has had chicken and dumplings at every family function since time began (that maybe a bit of an exaggeration); it just isn’t a Frank family holiday without chicken and dumplings.

Is there something special your family will eat that is a unique tradition this Thanksgiving?

Traditions, such as blue pancakes and chicken and dumplings, make special days “special.” My hope for you is that you are able to remember and (if you can) enjoy the food feasts that make family “family” this holiday season. Be sure to share your traditions with friends and tell the stories of your childhood to your kiddos. Savor the meals and memories that have made you who you are and be grateful for the events that enriched those memories.

Remember not everyone has “picture perfect” holiday plans. Be considerate and kind (and inviting, if you can) to those who have less to be thankful for.  Make your newest tasty tradition be one that dishes out meaningful memories for yourself and all those for whom you love. Who knows, maybe blue pancakes will be your new Thanksgiving brunch or chicken and dumplings your new tradition of choice. Whatever it is you serve, whether it be food or memories, make them positive and full of energy that inspires grateful intent.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. If you are making blue pancakes. you will need to pick up some blue food coloring.

Blue Pancakes (1)

 

 

 

Don’t Worry…They are Struggling Too

Don't Worry...they are struggling too

“I don’t care what they think.”

“Who do they think they are? Judging me?”

“Seriously, why do they think they are better than me?”

How often do we find ourselves making these snarky statements?

Our rhetoric for these loaded comments usually shows itself when we feel like someone does not like us or something we do. We immediately go on the defensive and throw down the I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me jargon, but inside we are battling the why-don’t-they-like-me fight.

Some of the snarkiest people I have ever met are also some of the most insecure individuals I have known. To inflate their self-perception, they preach a degrading dialogue about anyone they think they bring down. The problem with this kind of judging is that the hurtful words usually become flames in the fire of burning bridges for future friendships and work experiences.

Let me give you a for instance: When I was in college I worked for an entertainment retailer. My job included working in the book department, the cafe, and training new employees. I loved that job. There was one associate, who we will call Adam. Adam did a nice job on register and worked well with customers on the floor. He eventually made it to the ranks of shift manager. After becoming a shift manager, for whatever reason, Adam gradually became unhappy with the company. He put in his two weeks notice. One night while closing the store, I overheard him tell another associate that he never comes to work for his last day at any job. Well, I knew what was coming and planned to come in the day of his last shift. We were going to be short a manager. Continue reading “Don’t Worry…They are Struggling Too”

Don’t Knock Jokes – Funny Friday

Don't Knock Jokes

Teaching the art of joke-telling is a healthy and happy way to develop communication skills.

Every week I share a joke with the 1st and 2nd graders at our school library.  The students keep a journal of the jokes and their answers. I also always invite the students to share jokes of their own.

The 2nd grade teacher recently thanked me for getting the kids excited about reading, in particular for their excitement about reading joke and riddle books. She said, “They just can’t get enough jokes or joke books. It’s fun to see them laugh and try to tell the jokes.” It is great to see my silly habit of sharing jokes is contagious.

When kids tell jokes, they are able to laugh at themselves and their message. Too often kids are hounded with seriousness. If we can use humor to educate and provide experience, we can inspire happier learners.

I have given speeches and had opportunities to be a public speaker for most of my life. When I started public speaking in 5th or 6th grade, I learned that the best trick for breaking the ice was to tell a joke first.

  • If you can tell a joke, and tell it well, you can speak to anyone.
  • If you can identify where to add inflection or pauses, you can communicate a message.
  • If you can identify where to add inflection or pauses, AND make your audience laugh when you want them to, you can communicate anything.

Continue reading “Don’t Knock Jokes – Funny Friday”

Responsible Reading and Radical Listening – The Time I Met Will Schwalbe

There were so many things I wanted to title this post… “Long Live the Tree Books,” “Becoming a Watch Deputy,” and (the title that almost made the cut) “Buying Books We Knock Over.” (I call dibs on all these titles for future posts.)

This past spring Aunt Carol recommended that I read The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. The End of Your Life Book Club is a memoir of the books Will and his mother read and bonded over during her diagnosis and treatment for Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

I am not gonna lie. Reading this book made me feel smarter because Will and his mother Mary Anne read some AMAZING stuff. (I have an entire Goodreads book shelf dedicated to books I learned about in The End of Your Life Book Club.) It wasn’t so much the knowledge about the books they read that increased my intelligence; it was the way Will conveyed the powerful life lessons fostered by their reading, conversations, and the tremendous responsibility assumed because of their reading that made me feel smarter.

Will SchwalbeWill was announced as the author of the 2017 Capital READ in June. I was so excited! The date went immediately on my calendar and I ordered a new hardback copy of The End of Your Life Book Club from Amazon Marketplace.

Will Schwalbe 2When my copy arrived, I discovered that I had unwittingly ordered an autographed copy. I was bummed because I wanted my copy to be signed when I met Will. (Silly thing to be bummed about, right?) My signed copy ended up being a cool thing. Continue reading “Responsible Reading and Radical Listening – The Time I Met Will Schwalbe”

Basically good…like everybody else

Basically Good

Every night when I go to bed my mind floods with the shortcomings of my day. Most of the time my distractions stem from my own mistakes. The snippy words barked at my children in frustration. The letter I forgot to send. The phone call that I meant to make. The laundry in the washing machine never made it to the dryer. Did I feed the dog?

If I let my mistakes run rampant, my mind never lets me sleep. The only consolation I find is in the knowledge that I am basically good. Yeah, I am weak. Yes, I am full of mistakes. But, for the most part, I am basically good. Continue reading “Basically good…like everybody else”

Take Note

Take Note

Professional development is a topic that makes most people groan in despair. I really have no problem with professional development. In fact, I have served on many professional development teams in the past. As a fairly new employee to State Technical College of Missouri, I have the benefit of taking part in the professional development programs offered, including the “new” teacher services. While I am not a “new” teacher in the sense of experience, I was definitely “new” to the collegiate teaching scene.

Upon completion of my first year at State Tech, I received an invite to meet with Angie, the Professional Development Coordinator. Her invite stated that she just wanted to visit with me about the successes and any concerns from my first year to form an instructional mentoring partnership. (Sounded fun and fancy to me and Angie said she was willing to have donuts at the meeting.)

When we met, Angie and I discussed what we believed to be successful about my first year and I shared my concerns (which wasn’t much). She listened, shared stories about her own experiences as an adjunct professor, and discussed ideas for addressing my concerns. (She even remembered the donuts!) To conclude our meeting, Angie thanked me for my time and presented me with a brand, new composition book to use as a journal of my teaching. She did not realize just how special that notebook was.

Take Note 2I have always had an obsession with notebooks and journals. Writing is one of my favorite outlets and I have a little bit of a list-making obsession. For the last few years, I have re-purposed the notebooks left behind by my students as they move onto the next year’s courses. I don’t mind recycling, plus some of those kids drew really great sketches for me to enjoy every time I use their discarded notebooks. When I was in grade school, my favorite notebooks were made from recycled paper. I loved the tint of the gray pages and the softness of writing on the thicker sheets. When my friend Erica gave me a journal for my birthday a few years ago, I was so excited. A new notebook just for me! I used that journal to begin the writing for my blog.

When Angie presented me with this new notebook, my joy was instantaneous and I thanked her with a huge hug. Who knows what great things I can do with those fresh, lined pages! Continue reading “Take Note”