Celebrating life…

celebrateLike many others, I have been too busy to blog on this Memorial Day Weekend. The weather has been sunny and cool for a change and I have spent every waking moment catching up on household projects and what is happening in our back yard.

The view from our deck these days reminds me of a hotel verandah in an African game preserve. We see finches, cardinals, crows, woodpeckers, squirrels and deer, all eating at the same time, while our two cats sit quietly and observe from nearby.

Herds of deer are visiting us during the day again, which makes for better photos and more interesting viewing. We expect to see a bumper crop of baby deer this year, because many of the does are pregnant. Young bucks with 3-inch antler buds are also showing up in record numbers.

My Affordable Designs in Wood campaign is going better than expected. I have had to enlist additional part-time help in order to keep up with the orders for the Cedar Deck Planter. This is a marketing campaign, not a money-maker yet. I set the price to cover my out-of-pocket costs and use each installation as an extended sales call. More than half of the planter installations have resulted in additional design work, so the gamble on pricing them seems to be paying off.

I have weeks of work piling up and customer feedback is continuing positive. The next big hurdle is to manage the backlog so that customer’s delivery expectations continue to be met.

I am following the lead of several other blogger friends and will be closing my static Box-Carts product website and shifting to a weblog-based Affordable Designs site featuring all of my Box-Carts designs and products. The Affordable Designs site is in the prototype stage right now and will be constantly changing during the next week. I need to tune the template colors and create a new banner, but the concept seems promising. The biggest advantage is that I can feature new designs every week without burying myself in an HTML nightmare.

Thanks to Wayne Hurlburt and Lloyd Lemons for inspiring me to switch to a full-fledged business weblog.

With all of the turmoil in the world, it is great to see that some of the younger generation are still focused on excellence. Crystal Senko, a home-schooled girl from Port Orange, NJ girl scored 1600 on her SAT scores recently.

This got me to look further into the growing phenomenon of home schooling, which is producing all kinds of scholastic records and is offering many families a chance to out-create a disfunctional local school system. The main point that I see is that the children receiving home schooling get a much better education with less wasted effort, because every family activity can be part of their home schooling. There are many websites on home-schooling. Visit the site of Daryl Cobranchi to get a whole new view of this challenging opportunity to give children a better education.

I am fortunate that I received many of the benefits of home-schooling even though the concept did not exist in the 1940s. Back then, we enjoyed a traditional local school of a sort that rarely exists anymore. Our classes were small and there were many opportunities to get involved in special projects. In addition, my mother was a photographer, an artist, and specialized in handcrafts, so my sister and I were trained in all of these areas from our earliest childhood.

The dedication ceremony at the World War II Memorial on Saturday moved me greatly. That generation changed the world and our country for the better. Hard times and struggle sometimes bring out the best in people, like fire brings out the best in steel.

I hope that we can regain our sense of purpose again and work as one people to overcome the corrosive effects of entitlement and political correctness on our will to survive as a free nation.

Celebrate life daily, for each day is a gift that can only be spent once.

Have a good Memorial Day Weekend.

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