What a year! Lots of new and exciting experiences, places and people, and many, many blessings, including:

  • Judy Lawrence, SJ Sanchez and I finish the manuscript for Daily Riches: A Journal of Gratitude and Awareness (since released as Magic, Miracles and Synchronicity) in March. I’m in Slovenia when final details are being settled, and communications get rather interesting. (The FedEx package sent for my final OK doesn‘t arrive in Ljubljana until two weeks after I get back home. Who knew they don‘t have FedEx there?) At the Booksellers Exhibition in Chicago in early June, the three of us sign hundreds of copies exactly a year after we agreed to do the book together.
  • In April, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Instructional Support Services and I.S.S. Publications!
  • I take my first bead class in May and I’m off and running! While I’ve been involved with many forms of art or crafts throughout my life, there’s something about beadwork that instantly hooks me. On a practical note, it’s also extremely portable—more than a few overseas flights this year would have been excruciating had I not had some bead project to work on in between reading, writing, and sampling that wonderful airline food to pass the time!
  • I’m invited to Athens for my first keynote at an International Conference, speaking to people from 6 continents who have gathered to explore various ways of promoting self-esteem and social responsibility. Awesome experience. This is also my first time in Greece, so naturally I take some extra time to explore, touring various islands, visiting Ephesus (in Turkey) and spending a day or two in Athens, as well as Delphi and Galaxedi.
  • After a week and a half in Greece, I board a plane and continue my round-the-world tour as I head for Singapore—for my first engagement in southeast Asia. I am immediately immersed in a wonderful new culture and have an amazing and fulfilling experience working with parents and parent educators through the Association for Muslim Professionals. I visit my first mosque and and am reminded of the importance of taking time throughout the day to simply stop, catch my breath, and get a bit more grounded, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Two of my books, The Parent’s Little Book of Lists and Parents, Teens and Boundaries, receive Parent’s Choice Awards!
  • I keep on beading. (As a “high tactile/kinesthetic,” it’s a great thing to be doing while I’m watching TV and it sure helped to pass the time on that endless flight back from Singapore!) In October, I place my first pieces in galleries and shops in Colorado and Pennsylvania, and sell a number of pieces to individuals. This helps to keep me in beads and pay for my next few classes as well. It also prompts me to re-establish a studio I had set up for a short time back in the 70’s. Father Sky Studios becomes official in the fall. I hope to include not only beads but also fiber, paper, and glass art. It’s an indispensable way to balance the work I love doing with Instructional Support Services as an author, speaker, publisher, and distributor.
  • In November, I return to Slovenia for the 5th time in 3 years, just in time to celebrate—and promote—the Slovene edition of Parents, Teens & Boundaries. I’m starting to see people who attended some of my first classes in this beautiful country and, as always, I leave with a host of wonderful memories and many new friends.
  • I end the year in a cleaning-and-clearing frenzy, sorting, organizing and, in many cases donating what amounts to 2 carloads of books and clothes and office supplies to help benefit a few of our local shelters. As always, it is a great way to reduce clutter, experience gratitude in a very concrete way, and share the blessings. I strongly recommend it.

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