Sunday, January 29, 2017


Create something of value for someone everyday and you will always be wealthy!

An idea I try to convey to my kids in word and deed.

The thing, I think, is to keep creating - create something, produce something, instead of, or at least in addition to  - consuming, It may not always be something as tangible as a piece of art or a product to sell. It may be something quite intangible - the beginning of a friendship or a plan for a beautiful event.

Create something for someone else to have, or hold, or view, or respond to. It could be a painting or a poem. It could be something more immediately useful. It may be only a seemingly mundane thing; like a clean load of laundry, or a just mopped shiny kitchen floor, or a joke. No matter where you are, where you live, you can create something useful, something of value or lasting beauty. Something that will please someone, or make them think, or not think so much.

What ever it is..

Create something today to encourage a smile on the face of another.
Create something that will feed the body, soul or mind of someone you love.

Create something, then create and eat your lunch!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Traveling with Young Athletes

Our teenagers participation in sports has sometimes required us to travel long distances to events. So far, this has always been because they have achieved entry into a level of competition that they worked hard to accomplish. A regional or national competition is a big deal and something we felt deserved our commitment as parents to assist them in participating in.

Needless to say, travel is expensive. Our family vacations have predominantly been budget conscious adventures, tent camping, lots of sandwiches on the road, etc. So our earliest sports travel expenses were quite a shock. Fun and exciting, but did a number on our budget! I began to explore options and ways to reduce the expense. One wonderful discovery was of Airbnb. Not only did Airbnb save us money but the accommodations were actually beneficial in many ways, especially for our daughter, as she competed at gymnastic meets.

Staying in the hub (the designated host hotels) of competition excitement can be invigorating but it can also be distracting and overwhelming for an athlete as they prepare for high level competitions. In the case of gymnastics there are often many athletes of varying ages with different needs and expectations. The activity level can be distracting. Socializing looks more fun than getting rest, eating well and staying focused. The food choices, especially if your funds are limited can be restrictive.


Healthy nutrition is an important component for competing athletes. Eating on the road is typically more restrictive and finding good nutrition on the road is difficult without over spending. It can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet especially one required by a young competing athlete while traveling. Staying with Airbnb hosts has been amazingly beneficial for us, in this regard. We have been able to find accommodations that have provided access to complete use of a kitchen, allowing us to prepare food for ourselves instead of eating out or resorting to packaged items. In one case we were asked by our host in advance, what items we would like to have available for breakfasts. When we arrived we were greeted by a well stocked supply of appropriate, start your day right, meal choices.

Share the Expense 

Trying to keep costs down, we have organized with other families, to share the expense. Due to different competition levels, schedules and needs of the athletes, arranging to share accommodations can be helpful or honestly, only add to the level of stress. We have at times been fortunate to have teammate families that have been willing to share travel and/or accommodations. Depending on the location and distance, sharing driving especially, can be much more cost effective than air travel.

We have shared both hotel rooms and airbnb accommodations.  The advantage to sharing an Airbnb is the wide range of options available. There are whole houses, or single rooms. There are luxury accommodations, or bare bones facilities. In one situation, we shared with another gymnast and her mom, we had two lovely bedrooms (the girls shared one, us moms the other), The downside of this arrangement was the chatting that went on into the night, infringing on sleep. And it wasn't the girls who were up late into the night chatting and losing sleep. We have always had access to a kitchen when staying in an Airbnb.  As a result, we have been able to provide the best nutrition and cook up some great meals. After one meet we were able to share a wonderful meal of celebration with our hosts. You never know where support for your young athlete and your family will come from.

Pineapples are symbols of hospitality. Airbnb hosts deliver.

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