This Mother’s Day, why not spend some time finding out about her life before she had kids. Here are some possible questions you could ask her:
1- What was your favorite food that Gramma cooked?
2- What was your favorite place to eat out?
3- Did you have a special hat to wear for Easter or other holidays?
4- What was your favorite thing to do at school?
5- How often did you and your friends have sleepovers?
6- Did the sleepovers occur at your house or a friend’s house?
7- What was the one chore your parents had you do that you just hated?
8- What type of car did your family drive when you were a kid?
9- Where was your first vacation that you remember as a kid?
10- Did you have a diary that you wrote in? Did your parents know?
And then when you have Mom's answers, you could write down your answers, and if you have daughters, have them also write answers down. Then share all three generations to look for similarities and differences. What a great way to spend some quality time.
2015. Where does the time go? We have made it through the holidays and almost the first month of the new year. Life is still crazy - traveling, when I can, to be with my Dad during his cancer journey. Happy to say only 6 more days of radiation and getting the results from the CT scan. Hoping for a clear scan and a chance to kick cancer to the curb. But what about resolutions? Have you already fallen off the wagon with the goals you set for yourself this year? Have you even made some goals for the upcoming months? I would like to offer some ideas that will help you with that.
So Valentine's Day is in a few weeks. It doesn't have to be about mushy love, show some love to those around you. Offer to do some chores for someone unable to handle them, help with a fundraiser, or find a charitable cause you believe in. I have had the great fortune of helping a first year teacher with a project on DonorChoose.org, been able to provide lodging for an out of town family when they lost their mom, and I have been able to help a client get some old family photographs digitized and on flashdrives to share with siblings. Have you looked at those around you to see where needs might be? It doesn't have to be anything big.
Speaking of photos, maybe you have ran across some old photos and you want to do something with them. Have you seen the idea on social media of the generational photo with each person holding the photo of the person in their next generation. What a cool gift to give to all who were in the photo (4 or 5 generations are typical). I can help with getting photos scanned for you, books made to share with family and friends, and even introduce you to a great way to safeguard your photos for generations.
Speaking of making a difference, Lent is approaching as well. For those of us in the Catholic faith, Lent typically means giving up something for 40 days. I always twisted that around for our kids and my students in CCD to "add" something new to your day. Instead of seeing it as a loss, look at it as a gain. Maybe it is adding the task of writing a note to someone who could use a kind word and a little encouragement, how about spending a few minutes each day sorting through your photo stacks and labeling them with name and date so that the info is not lost, or what about spending some time each week with a family member and sharing stories. Not only will those you interact feel the love, you will also be impacted.
So as we look for things to do and curtail our cabin fever, don't feel like it has to be anything huge and newsworthy, make it meaningful to someone close to you. And celebrate the memories you share.
Christmas season is upon us. We are caught up in the hustle and bustle of traveling, eating, shopping, visiting, decorating, and everything else that goes along with your traditions. There are many who love this time of year and there are some who dread it. I do love winter in general and Christmas is a big part of that. I have always loved being able to get the house decked out for the kids to feel the magic. As the girls have grown up and moved out, it doesn't hold the same place as it did. Should I be doing this for my kids and grandkids? I got to thinking about this a lot in the past month or so. Maybe I should be doing it for me, to remind me of the great memories I have of my childhood holidays.
So why is that so important? Well, our family was hit in Oct with a major snowball. cancer. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails. We were reveling in the birth of our granddaughter, helping our eldest recuperate from pneumonia and thinking how strange that my dad was also dealing with pneumonia in another state. Dad was not getting better, went in for a follow up appointment and was transferred to a larger hospital and more tests revealed cancer in his lung. WHAT!!!?? We were just making plans for Thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries, and all the everyday stuff that happens. I spent a week at the hospital with my parents, drove home in disbelief that we would be embarking on a new trail, one we did not choose. So my plans for the holidays seemed to take a back seat.
Chemo started in November. The day before my sister's birthday. It will end the day after my birthday in March. Radiation will start Christmas week. Talk about messing up special days. Then I started thinking about that. Special days? What does that mean? And then I decided to make everyday a special day. During one of dad's treatment weeks, I had them bring a scrapbook of family photos with them. I had redone this book several years ago but left the writing of the stories for my parents to do. Well guess what, they still are not written in. We wait for the right time. When its too cold outside; we have nothing else going on; when the family can be together. Yeah, in other words, they probably won't get done. So one afternoon I sat with Dad and had him tell me the stories (again) but this time I recorded them. He has told me many times but I always would forget some of the details. Now I was afraid I would lose all the details if something happened to my dad. I could not bear to think about that.
It was amazing listening to him share stories and memories. He may not be able to tell me what he had for lunch, but he remembers peoples names, types of cars, trips and places he has been. It made me smile and then I got to remembering the times when I was growing up. Some of the memories are just through the photos we looked at, but then little tidbits of history start popping up. Family Sundays, picking blueberries, camping, fishing, riding on the tug, and so many more memories.
So decorating for Christmas may start this weekend, but it will be for me. Reminding me of the Christmas' my parents did for my sister and I. The love of a family. The stories that will be made. And then I have to remember to take pictures and write those stories down so my girls are not calling me names later in life.......
So don't wait to share a story, a photo, a memory. Do it today. Make it a part of EVERY day, not just something you do on the holidays and special occasions, because you will soon realize the special days are the days you are with people you love. EVERY DAY IS SPECIAL.
If you need help with your family photos, contact me for a quote on getting them saved for future generations and sharing.
Mulligans and Fire Prevention There are many stories of how the term “mulligan” was first established. The most common is that it originated in the 1920s when David Mulligan, a Canadian golfer, inadvertently retook a shot. This error became known as taking a mulligan when a golfer takes a second shot that replaces the previous one.
Over the years the term has been applied to a number of sports, and is also now used in many situations when people want another opportunity to pursue something they missed previously.
October 17th is National Mulligan Day, created to encourage everyone to call your mulligan on any type of situation, whether it be sports, relationships, starting a hobby, changing careers … whatever you want to “do over” or get a second chance.
Another special time for recognition this month was established by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). The entire month of October is designated as Fire Prevention Month. According to the NFPA, a house fire happens every 87 seconds! Do you have a scheduled day to change your smoke alarm batteries every year? Do you know the most typical causes of a house fire? Have you established a fire escape plan for your family? The NFPA website provides a plethora of valuable information.
This strange combination - fire prevention and mulligans - lead us to think about the fact that with a fire, or any disaster, you don’t get a do-over. All you can do is prepare to help lessen your chances for a loss. One way is to rely on sites such as the NFPA to make sure you are following the safety tips they offer.
Unfortunately, we all know that even with all the safety precautions we can take, it is still probable that we will experience a loss. Having an inventory of your contents is the next best thing to a do-over, because it assists you in remembering all you owned, which helps you receive an equitable insurance settlement. This will at least generate the funds for a do-over of getting your life back to where you were before the loss.
It Starts with a Whiff of Smoke
As an EMT, I spend a lot of time with fire victims at the scene. There are so many stories of sadness, loss, and emotional turmoil. When speaking with the owners who were home when the fire started, many experiences can be summed up this way … “Something just didn’t smell right. It started with a whiff of smoke. I walked around sniffing from room to room, but couldn’t find anything.”
Many items will never be replaced
I stand there with them, watching the smoke and flames. When no one has been injured, they realize how fortunate they are. Then they turn to the fire, and begin to take the situation in. They are frantic, needing comfort. Unfortunately, with this type of loss, comfort is all I can give them. They begin to talk about their belongings. The photos and family heirlooms that will never be replaced are usually the first thing they think about. Many have them boxed up in the attic or basement. My knowledge and experience has taught me that some might be able to be salvaged if they were packed tightly. Often times outside edges are charred, but many photos and other keepsakes in the center of the boxes are salvageable. My recommendation is to always check before throwing something away - you might be surprised to discover some items were not destroyed.
After that discussion, the conversation turns to the household items. These are items that can be replaced, with the proper planning and documentation. Their favorite chair, the new television they just bought, the first piece of furniture they bought when they built the house. Each story is different, yet they are all the same. The loss is devastating. What will they do? How will they recover? At this moment, there is nothing I can do except listen.
Since this is fire preparedness month, there are two key tips I'd like to share with you: 1) Overloaded systems are often the cause of house fires, and 2) If you have an older home, be sure it is updated to handle the electrical needs of current technology.
Having been involved in fire services for so long, I constantly encourage people to be prepared for a loss. The information provided by having a home inventory will help in so many ways. The time it takes to complete a claim is unbelievably long; an inventory will usually reduce that time at least by half. The emotions that come with a loss hinder one’s ability to remember and think clearly; an inventory will help you focus. The funds recovered with the help of a prepared inventory can be huge!
I recently opened a bed and breakfast. Knowing I would be too busy to do it myself, and also that I wanted the expertise of a professional, I chose to hire a certified inventory service. The peace of mind I have now was well worth the investment!
Jodi Bondy has been an EMT for over 35 years. She wears many other hats as well: wife, mother, grandma, former teacher, and now entrepreneur. Jodi started her own business, Hoosier Photo Organizer, to help people deal with the backlog of photos and other media they have documenting their lives. She recently opened a retreat center, The Magnolia of Montgomery County, where people can have meetings, retreats, or events with family and friends. Jodi and her husband live in North Salem, Indiana. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-989-2813.
I am so sorry for my long delay in posting a new blog. Not that there is not lots to talk about. I have even started a blog library so that I can just grab a quick entry if needed. But the real reason I have been MIA is I was fulfilling a dream I have had for several years. I recently purchased a Victorian house to start my own business. I am opening a guest house - unhosted for the most part. Most people would think of this as a bed and breakfast, but I will not be living there and I do not have to cook breakfast for all the guests (unless they request that in the rental).
I am so excited to finally be able to check this off my list of things to do. I closed last Thursday, and we picked up beds and delivered them that night. Spent Friday and Saturday working on the house and getting items collected to move there. My wonderful husband, Tim, already started trimming and the outside stuff. I had to take a break the rest of the weekend since I was committed to our town's annual festival. Today I am back at it. Slowly things are coming together. I have about 1/3 of the house set up. So what is the big hurry? Well, my scrapbooking retreat is the last weekend of this month!!! I am working down to the wire.
Still working on a name for the new place, but we will host family reunions, weddings, crafting retreats, staff development retreats for business, overnight lodging for travelers (we are in small towns and the closest hotels are about 30 min. away) and whatever other events we can think of. I love to throw parties. Maybe you don't have room for a shower, wine and canvas, girlfriends weekend. No idea is out of the question.
I am finalizing all of the financial info and will be sharing rental fees soon. Also, hope to finish stocking the house with the wares needed to make it an enjoyable stay. I will be posting more photos soon, but I will give you a sneak peek here. Please share the news and watch for the Open House announcement.
I am really trying to get all of my printed photos into scrapbooks and off of shelves. I have a huge number of digital photos that I have been slowly working with to edit them and then get them into photo books. The cool thing about the digital photos is I don't have to print them. One huge step and expense taken out of the mix. What I do need to do though is get more current photos into a medium that I can share with others. I have done several digital books when an event has happened, now I need to get the everyday ones done.
Are you in the same boat? Some of the tools I use to handle my digital photos include Panstoria's Historian and Artisan software. I also joined Pixels2Pages to help with technical support and great designers - I can simply copy an idea and get the pages done. Nick Kelsh is a professional photographer I have taken classes with and he also has some awesome web based pages - How to Photograph Your Baby, How to Photograph your Life; both of these are on Facebook and websites.
I want to be able to help you get your digital photos off your cameras, computers, USB drives, etc and into a book or other items that you can share, give as a gift, cherish for years to come. Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas gifts!!!
Read more about digital options in the info below and let me know if you have questions.
If you are digital & have not joined Pixels2Pages yet, JOIN NOW to join the fun activities & crop they have coming up! http://www.pixels2pages.net/106-0-1-3.html
Their "Almost There" vacation crop is July 25-27, and they have lots of fun activities planned. Info about the crop & mug download:http://www.pixels2pages.net/.../vacation-crop-july-25-27.../
They also have TONS of training & tips for Artisan/StoryBook & Historian/Memory Manager that I could never teach you! You can learn from your own living room.
July 16 P2P will be posting a "Cropping with P2P" mug template featuring P2P logos, and in conjunction with that, Panstoria is putting all mugs on sale at 10% off for the month of July. Good time to get some holiday gifts ordered!
The crop is for P2P members only. They have some fun freebies lined up for the crop. One will be a kit created especially for this event by designer-extraordinaire Katie Pertiet. It will be FREE to P2P members ONLY for the duration of the crop. After the crop, it will be for sale in the Panstoria store, so that's a great bonus if you have been thinking about joining P2P.
Join P2P today! There is a free trial if you want to just check it out. Use this link to be connected to me: http://www.pixels2pages.net/106-0-1-3.html
FYI: to join the Panstoria Print Shop to order your mug, please follow the link so you will be linked to me: https://panstoriaprintshop.com/?tracking=5310d8251cd0b
Let me know if you join P2P & are doing the crop!
Last week I held an event to scan photos for folks. I was not sure what kind of response I would get and I did not know if the logistics I had planned in my head would really work the way I wanted. Over the 3 days, I was able to help over a dozen people get photos digitized and even discussed some options for them as to how to proceed. I saw photos from the early 1900s, newspaper articles of athletic ancestors, heard stories of favorite holidays, and realized that people really do cherish their memories.
The hardest part of this is EVERYONE has memories to cherish, but often they don't realize it until they can't recover them. Yesterday, we had a tornado go through our county - not horrible damage, but still there was damage. We can never be totally prepared for a disaster, but we can do some leg work ahead of time as insurance to help lessen the pain of loss. And after the tornadoes came some areas of flash floods, again are we prepared the best way we know how?
So this fall, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) have designated Sept 27 as Save Your Photos Day. It will be a national event to allow those of us who work in the industry to help community members learn about what it entails to save photos. It may be an educational talk, it may be a free community event where you are able to scan materials you have to a safe media, or it may be a combination of these. There may be professionals from a wide variety of businesses to help answer questions. More information will be coming later, so stay tuned.
I hate to hear stories from family and friends who tell me they can't find the picture of them first learning to ride their bike, their acceptance of an award, their wedding, birth of children, and a number of other memorable moments. You have options and I am here to help.
It is June already! Where has the year gone? All the projects I said I was going to finish this year are still sitting in some form of incompleteness. I need to find the time to work on them or maybe it is the motivation. I am carving out more time for myself, but just not using it as wisely as I could. Do you do that? Have something you want done and you know you will feel so good once it is over, but just can't get started? I am hoping to help both of us with this dilemma with my upcoming event.
I am sure if you all looked hard enough you could find photos tucked away in your house. C'mon, be real. Under beds, in drawers, tubs in the basement/attic/garage/junk room, on electronic devices, in places you planned to clean out last weekend. We all do - well next week I can help you cross that item off your list. I am hosting a scanning event in Danville at the Crawley Business Center (upstairs from Visit Hendricks County office) at Washington and Main St. The dates and times are posted above in my image. I am taking one hour appointments for you to bring in up to 500 photos/items to be scanned and digitized. I will scan your items and then you will have space to work if you would like to organize the photos into a project or if you need to decide who is going to inherit the hard copy now that you will have it digitally.
With your fee, besides the hour of scanning, you will also receive a USB with the files stored on it, a photo box and envelope for sorting and storing your organized photos. There will be opportunity to see some of the other products I offer to my clients and you can perhaps plan another day to meet with me and work on your photo history.
The Crawley Business Center is a wonderful space that I will be using and I will have some snacks available while you wait. If you are so inclined and want to make a day of it, bring your scrapbooking or related projects to work on. There will be table space available and you are more than welcome to hang out before or after your appointment to work on projects. I will be working on several projects myself (that is if I have any free time).
This event is open to everyone, I just need to have times slotted so that people are not sitting and waiting while I work with others. Please help me spread the word about this event. If you refer someone to me and both of you schedule a time for scanning, I will put your name on the list for the "Referral Bonus" (not sure what that will be yet, but you will want to be on it).
So the event is next Thursday, the 12th of June. I will be running it for 3 days. Tell all your friends. Sign up early to get the time slot you want. Start gathering those photos and come hang out with me for awhile.
Welcome to my Business Blog. I would like to use this platform as a way to encourage, motivate, guide, and inspire you to do something with your photo history.
I am a very organized person, but when it comes to my photos, I seem to have fallen off the wagon. I have printed photos, digital photos, photos in boxes, drawers, bags - well you get the picture. Are you in the same boat? I want to help you get this under control. I am working through my photos and can say that the mess I started with is getting better. I am actually finishing up all of the printed photos I have and will soon be working in the digital realm.
So how did this all start? I took photos as a child, gathered photos from family and friends, and now save photos posted online that I want to do something with. I had put these photos in albums as I was growing up - those magnetic, sticky page albums or slide in albums from various stores. I was a saver; I have birthday cards and valentines from elementary school. GEESH!!
Well, about 11 years ago, I was introduced to a company that helped to preserve photos in safe and long-lasting albums. I tore all my old albums apart (which was probably a good thing because the photos were started to decompose (lots of chemistry behind this) and I was losing my memories (not my mind, just memories). I had 17 photo albums now disassembled and put into photo safe boxes. I slowly started to get new albums made, but at the same time, continued to take more photos, so it seemed I would never be done. I would spend weekends away with friends working on my albums and sharing a laugh or two, attend vendor events to provide a resource for others to buy products or find out about my events, and I would also visit with folks in their homes at a party with their friends. But one big message kept coming back to me - "What about the people who don't SCRAPBOOK?"
There were a number of people who would walk right by or never venture into my direct sale world because they were not interested in making a scrapbook. Okay, I get it, I was in that same boat for awhile. But I would ask if they had pictures and where they were or what they did with them. The answers were basically the same across the board and very similar to where mine were. I knew I needed to broaden my scope and help more people with my expertise.
So I started my own business, Hoosier Photo Organizer, and I help to relieve the stress and fear of taking care of your photos and family heritage. I can sit down with a client and we work together on a project or they can turn the project over to me and I work on it, checking in with them for specifics and then provide them with a finished product they can pass on to future generations. I have been learning lots from experts in the field. I joined a professional organization, APPO, to support me and provide me with the tools and resources I need to be the best at what I do.
Life-long learning is still going on. I want to know more about my family, I want to be able to pass that gift onto my children and grandchildren. I want to keep my mind sharp and busy as I get older. I want to help others declutter their closets and other hiding places in homes so they can use that space for something fun. I want to remember where I came from and that story is locked in the photos, movies, letters, slides, etc that I have in my possession.
Are you in the same place? Watch for future blogs that will cover some specific topics and ideas on how you can preserve your photo history.