Monday, December 15, 2014

Creston, the center of the Kootenay region of BC, Canada

-- Support Local -- 
Global News coverage of the city of Creston in the center of the Kootenay region of BC Canada... Incredible coverage, footage in such a short video series.
another one for you...
New York Times article on British Columbia's Powder Highway - Perhaps no place else on earth possesses such a wealth of ski options as here in the Kootenay Rockies - more at

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Authentic Appreciation in the Workplace

Turning around a Negative Workplace
with Authentic Appreciation

* Today's article was written by Paul White, Ph.D., and submitted by his publicist: Alessandra Wike of (

Life in the workplace has become increasingly stressful. The financial stress from the global economy downturn has impacted businesses, nonprofit organizations, ministries, schools, and government agencies. Employees in the workforce are discouraged. Team members are having to "do more" with less resources. Staff members report not feeling valued for the work they are doing, and are approaching burnout.

Sixtyfive percent of workers report receiving no recognition or appreciation from their supervisors in the past twelve months. And 79% of employees who quit their jobs report that not feeling valued as one of the top reasons for leaving.

At the same time, business managers and organizational leaders are frustrated. They know their team members are working hard, but they are getting worn down. Many organizations have attempted to address the issue by implementing employee recognition plans. But, in one study, only 31% of employees in organizations that have recognition plans reported feeling appreciated for doing their work well. As a result, leaders often feel stuck they want to do something that will encourage their staff but they don't know what to do.

The Importance of Appreciation

Why is feeling appreciated so important in a work setting? Because each of us wants to know that what we are doing matters. Without a sense of being valued by supervisors and colleagues, workers start to feel like a machine or a commodity.
When team members do not feel valued, the results are predictable:
       Workers become discouraged, feeling there is "always more to do and no one notices whether I do a good job or not."
       Employees begin to complain about their work and negative communication among co-workers increases.
       Negative behaviors increase: tardiness, absenteeism, conflict, stealing, lower quality work, and apathy.

Communicating Appreciation Authentically

We have identified four critical factors that need to occur for appreciation to be experienced as authentic appreciation by team members:
       Appreciation must be communicated regularly. If appreciation is only communicated during performance reviews, employees don't believe the messages sent. Similarly, infrequent messages (once or twice a year) don't adequately communicate that the team member is truly valued.

       Appreciation must be individualized and delivered personally. People want to be appreciated for what they individually have contributed. Unfortunately, most organizations use groupbased acts of appreciation a blast email thanking the department for getting a project done or a volunteer appreciation picnic.   This type of communication often backfires, with employees becoming cynical or feeling offended by the general nature of the act.

       Appreciation needs to be communicated in the languages and actions that are meaningful to the recipient. Individuals have specific ways in which they prefer to be encouraged. When messages are sent repeatedly in ways outside of our primary language, the intent of the message "misses the mark." Not only is this ineffective, it becomes discouraging as well both to the sender and the receiver of the message. 

       Appreciation needs to be perceived as being authentic. People want appreciation to be genuine. Workers are skeptical of programs implemented from the top down where supervisors are given an instruction to "communicate appreciation for each team member at least once a week." While we all want to know that we are valued, we want it to be authentic, not contrived.

Practical Steps to Take

Identify a colleague that, without them, your daily life at work would be significantly more difficult. (If you want to find out want actions are most meaningful to them, either ask them what tends to be encouraging to them, or have them take our Motivating By Appreciation Inventory.)  Otherwise, start by communicating to them, either in person or through writing, specifically what they do that you appreciate and why their actions are important to you. One small comment can make a difference!

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Green Holiday Tips

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart known as Brotherhood, however much you preach, posture, or agree, unless you live it. "

 ~ Faith Baldwin

-- Green Xmas Tips --

 Check out these fantastic reuse and other green holiday tips that will save you money, reduce waste and eliminate a lot of hassle:

For more, check out: 

Trash Talk -It's Easy To Be Green Book Series:
Trash Talk -It's Easy To Be Green Book Series:

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Product Review

-- Product Review -- 

I’ve always enjoyed the task of wrapping, but just the other day a friend of mine told me that she loathed wrapping and saw it as a chore when it comes to the holidays and special celebrations. She is not the first of my friends to express this. For those of us concerned about living a more conscious, green lifestyle, it can be challenging to find eco-friendly wrapping materials, although there is an increasing variety becoming available in retail outlets as people become more conscious. Today I have the honor of doing a review of the Fobbie Holiday Wrap Pack ($39.95) for the Fab Fob Company, LLC - which. has a slogan that I’m sure will appeal to my friend: “Gift wrapping in a cinch!”

(another picture to be inserted here soon)

Within just a few days after the original contact, the product arrived in a roughly 2-by-8 inch cardboard box with very little packaging. The only thing inside beside the product was a letter of greeting and a thin catalog that showed many different ways of using their product, some were incredibly creative and would certainly make a gift stand out. The letter was only printed on one side, as such the company might have used the other side to further promote their products or offer coupons or something, however the recipient of the letter can always use the other side as scrap paper/notepaper. The product was encased in a resealable plastic bag with a simple label on the bag. I feel that as far as the environmental impact of the packaging goes, the company made a genuine effort to reduce waste - everything is reusable and recyclable.

I received 3 rolls of ribbon (valued at $3.49 per roll), each with a protective plastic sheet over just the ribbon itself, and stored, rolled up on a cardboard tube container – other then the ribbon the other items are recyclable. My husband and I were quite impressed with the volume of ribbon provided in the review sample package. Dave immediately noticed that two of the ribbon rolls looked red one way, some red and green and black if you looked dead on at it, and if you tilt the roll another way it looked green – as such the ribbon would look multicolored on a package. Also included in the sample package were 12 pairs of different designs from their large selection of Fobbies. A black and white diagram on the reverse side of each Fobbie explains how to use and reuse them indefinitely.

The way it works is this: 

Take two pieces of ribbon that are long enough to wrap around the gift, wrap one ribbon around the package and then do the same thing with the other ribbon so that both ribbon ends are on the top of the gift. Push one ribbon end through the 2nd slot in the Fobbie and then pull the end through the other slot. Repeat with all the ribbon ends. The process is similar to a buckle. When you are finished you simply pull the ribbon ends so that it cinches up snugly against the gift, trim the ribbon ends and you are done. It is super easy to do and the diagram instruction on the back of each Fobbie acts as an effective visual aide to help you. Do it once and you’ll never forget how it was done. Liz Mrofka (the inventor of this product) recommends using wire ribbon because it “has a lot of depth” and holds its shape well.

Now there are several neat things about this that immediately stood out for me – the recipient of the gift can more easily unwrap the gift so it would be a perfect option for those that are not as nimble in their old age or for young recipients as well. For those of us who like to reuse wrapping and ribbon when possible, we will love the fact that there is less tape and other obstructions that can rip and tear when unwrapping. While both the Fobbie and the ribbon, (and possibly the paper or bag) are reusable - a very eco-friendly and budget friendly option – it may be a good idea to mention that fact in the card to the recipient so that they are aware of it and will be more likely to reuse.

Another benefit is that people will no longer have to worry about losing a gift tag either because the Fobbie is the gift tag. Using these will also prevent smashed bows and decorations from breaking off and making a mess. Use these special wrapping tools to give your baked goods a special look. Ease the wrapping chore, especially for irregular shaped items, and reduce concerns about damaging the gift’s beauty during traveling or if you are shipping a gift out.

Ok, so you are probably wondering what a Fobbie is – the name actually comes from the word “fob”: an ornament at the end of a ribbon. Look in the center of the pictures of wrapped gifts in this post and you’ll see them there in the middle. They are about 3.5” round, and come in packs of 6 ($8.49), and packs of 12 ($14.99), assortment packs of 21 Fobbbies ($24.99), 5-pack of do-it-yourself variation ($5.99), or in single orders as well (ranging from $1. 49-$1. 75). The Fobbie seems to be almost as thick as a hardcover book’s cover, so it is very durable. It is made from all recyclable materials and it is recyclable… unfortunately it is manufactured in China, which has a terrible reputation for worker rights, environmental laws and comes with a high fossil fuel cost because it is shipped all the way here from China.

The information catalog showed some really interesting ways of using the Fobbie – such as using seamstress-measuring tape instead of ribbon, or long grasses, etc. They also have picture frame style Fobbies, which can be made into a hanging picture or magnet for the recipient’s enjoyment. The picture frame style doesn’t depict that you have to use a picture, you can use cut outs from old cards that you received in the past, magazine or calendar images, etc. The company also has special occasion (birthday, etc) and announcements (appreciation, birth, etc.) and many other varieties that will really be helpful to those interested in this product.

So let’s talk a little about the Fab Fob Company ( which is located in Drake, Colorado (US) and was founded by Liz Mrofka. The website offers a video showing a variety of ways to wrap with the Fobbie product, I encourage people to check that out too. When you visit the, you’ll find that Liz also offers a fundraising option, and you may also be interested in her blog:

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, free archives of their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tips for dealing with grief

Saying the Right Things When You Offer Sympathies

* Today's article was written by: Suzie Kolber - a writer at . The site is a complete guide for someone seeking help for writing words of condolences, sympathy messages, condolence letters and funeral planning resources.

What do you say to your best friend when his father dies? How do you comfort your cousin who has lost a spouse? And what words can comfort a parent who has lost their child? These are common thoughts for anyone when trying to decide how to offer sympathies to a grieving family member or friend.

Don’t Avoid the Issue

Instead of trying to talk around the subject, acknowledge the situation. It is appropriate to say that you heard that a person died even if it occurred some time ago. This lets the other person know that you are willing to talk about it and allows them to say what they want.

You should always be honest and sincere even if that means admitting that you don’t know what to say. Sometimes just saying that you are sorry about the situation is enough. You can say it in a variety of ways.

·       “I’m sorry to hear about your loss.”

·       “I’m sorry that you are going through this.”

·       “I want you to know how sorry I am that this has happened to you.”

Showing your concern lets the other person know that he or she is not alone.

Be Supportive

You may feel like you should be doing something for the grieving person. It feels awkward to just stand or sit and talk about the situation. If you are the type of person who wants to “fix” things, you should use that attitude in this situation. While you can’t fix it, you can do things to make the burden easier.

Some examples of support include helping out with tasks around the house or caring for children so that the person can deal with other jobs. You may be able to take on some projects that the deceased handled, especially important when the people are older. Maybe he mowed the lawn or she cooked dinner. Now that they are gone, this task is left up to the family member. They may feel overwhelmed at all of the work to do and appreciate you taking on the responsibility for a few days or weeks.

One of the best ways to offer ongoing support is by asking how the person feels. This allows them to deal with their feelings and express any concerns they are having. This is a good question to ask even months later because grief doesn’t go away in a few days. Only the support seems to lessen as time goes by. When you receive an answer to your question, don’t assume that means you have to respond or “make them feel better.” Just the act of telling you that today is a bad day or they spent the morning crying can be enough.

The most important thing to remember about offering sympathy to people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one is that the words don’t matter as much as you think. It is the meaning and the intention behind the words.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quote to start the week off

-- Quote of the Day --

“What defines a person is not the mistakes they’ve made, 

but what and how they’ve learned from them.”

~ Barbara Bereksazi

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hobby Garden Success Tips

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“Don't be fooled by the calendar. 
There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”

 ~ Charles Richards

 -- Hobby Gardening -- 

* today's article was written by Kyle Vail

Gardening is a simple and gratifying hobby that is enjoyed by millions. A gardener can manage one or two containers on a balcony to a complex lot that spans several acres. 

Regardless of the size of the garden, the basic rules to maintain the garden are generally the same. 

Here are several basic tips for the new gardeners:

Right place - Make sure to plant the flowers, fruits, or vegetables in the right place to match the specific type of plant. Avoid trying to suit a plant to an empty plot, as successful growth isn't likely to be achieved if the right shady, moist, dry, or hot spot isn't provided.

Mature growth - The full size of a plant, shrub, or tree should be considered when planning the garden landscape. A common mistake is to plant shrubs or trees too closely, and not appreciating the mature size after several seasons of growth. Compacted plants can leave the perennial bed looking overgrown and crowded.

Start small - Start out with a small bed or patch to give the new gardener time to hone their gardening skills. An ideal size is a single 25' X 25' patch or a 4' X 8' bed. Make sure to carefully plan the garden to increase the chance of enjoying successful growth and avoid improperly sited trees. A fruit-bearing tree planted in a less than ideal position is certain to cause a lot of trouble in 5 or 10 years should it need to be relocated.

Buy the basics - A varied selection of tools and supplies is certain to make planting and maintaining the garden easier. A basic tool collection should include hand tools (trowel, weed puller, cultivator, pruners, etc), hose, fertilizers, and protective gear (gloves, hat, sun block, etc).

Feed the soil - Give the soil a regular application of nutrient-rich materials to help promote strong growth of the plant life. Preferred soil amendments include well-rotted homemade compost, grass clippings, crushed leaves, and similar organic matter.

Mass the plants - Try to plant the small plants or flowers so that the leaves slightly overlap or touch to help with creating a micro-climate. This offers the benefit of minimizing weed growth. Also, this make sure you see a lot more plants and color in the garden, and a lot less soil between the plants.

Varied plant life - A garden landscape that relies on only flower color isn't the most attractive option. A well-planned garden should also consider texture, foliage, and winter interest.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!