Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I love Thanksgiving day. Even though our small family is together a lot; this day is still special. I enjoy having the meal at my house; planning the menu, hoping the new recipes turn out right, praying everything will done at the same time; I want to serve a special meal to the most important people in my life.

Sounds dumb - right? Who cares - just another meal; like the many we share throughout the year? Why is this one so different?

This is my time reflect.

When I became a mother, the world changed.
When I became a grandmother, I changed.

The moment I became a parent, I viewed the world differently. Everything revolved around "what would be the effect" on my child. A person is sometimes overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising another human being. You want to do everything right (whatever that is). I wanted to give her the world, but at the same time, to teach her morals, the benefits of hard work, kindness, empathy; the list goes on and on.

Well, I lucked out. Stef grew up to be a wonderful person, in spite of me. Then, she and our son-in-law, Doug, gave us our first grandchild, Alexandria Grace.

I was in a position to babysit our grandchild full time. Stef was grateful, knowing the care I would give. But, she had also heard horror stories from her friends on "Grandma" taking over the raising of their children. She shared her concerns with me once in a tactful way; hoping I would never take Alex to get her "first" haircut, etc. I said "Stef, I already have a daughter". She knew what I meant. (See, I told you I lucked out.)

So, why is the love for grandchildren different?

For one, we didn't know until they appeared, there is another place in the heart for them. Also, we grandparents are in a more secured place in life. But I think the reason is the responsibility. We can just enjoy them. We can spoil; we can indulge; we can play.

Life is good. Give thanks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What would Alex and Cole look like with an 'Animal Tail'?

Since Mom was busy fighting with some screen printing issues today, of which I am no help, I offered to be her substitute blogger for the day.

As many of you know, we've added 'Animal Tails' to the Rubi J line. Finally my kids will get to do a little modeling on this blog. (C'mon Mom, Lucy and Cliff made their debuts before Alex and Cole?) Anyway, these t-shirts are sublime! Not only are they soft, adorable, ethically-made, but they also teach our children about endangered species. Each t-shirt comes with a message from the animal. Cole received a note from a gentle (yes, gentle) Siamese Crocodile and Alex heard from a wonderfully 'memorable' Asian Elephant.

I'm so excited about this business venture. While it will take some time to build an inventory of products that Mom and I believe in, we are enjoying the mission. Never did we realize how much reward there would be in finding products that increase the social consciousness of our consumers, especially the children. How many of you sit down with your children after a day of shopping to discuss the global impact of your purchases? Well, when I sat down with Alex and Cole to read our 'Animal Tails' cards, I explained how a portion of the proceeds will go to the Africat Foundation. Their wondrous reactions sent a warmth through my spine and reminded me how important little lessons can be to the development of our posterity.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Animal Tails

On one of Stef's and my brainstorming sessions about products for Rubi J; we came up with the idea of t-shirts screen-printed with endangered species. We thought it would be a way to educate through fashion (two of our favorite things). We made a list of endangered animals and started our research. At the same time, I was looking for organic t-shirts for the screen printing.

I was guided from above.

I have found the perfect company for our vision. In fact, our vision and philosophy are the same: organic cotton, trade ethically and improve all livelihoods. Animal Tails is are our new partners in this venture. Their children's t-shirts are better than we could have ever produced. The graphic design of the animals are so imaginative. This company is amazing. A portion of all sales are donated to their favorite charity, The AfriCat Foundation. Please read more about this foundation.

We are the earth's caretakers; we must take responsibility.

On a personal note, I have the added bonus on finding a new friend. Although many miles apart, the president of Animal Tails, Annette, and I have formed a bond. We are both mothers - a wonderful and tight knit organization - and we want to make a different. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Dog People"

I wanted to tell everyone about the new and exciting product we are adding to our line; but since there is a thunder storm outside and I have a 35 pound quivering mass on my lap; it is very hard to concentrate. So.....let's talk dog.

We're dog people. There has been very few times in my life I have been without a dog. They are a part of what is me.

Then there are the no-dog people; never had one---never will. Two completely different types. We are both very nice; but do not understand each other. One of my best friends told me once she was appalled when learning my dog slept with me. "I don't even allow my children in my bed."

See what I mean.

We "dog people" feel sorry for them; and they question our sanity.

We currently have two in our household; Lucy and Clifford. Lucy is our dog from the shelter that everyone loves and she loves them back. Clifford is our rat terrier that is hard to love; but we do. The joy we receive from them is second only to our "human" family.

Though the years, my husband and I have had the privilege to share our lives with the most amazing dogs. When we had to say goodbye; I always swear I would never go through this most horrible pain again. But; I do.


I guess only other dog people would know. We know we are setting ourselves up for heartbreak. We know we will say "Never again." We know; we will again.

It's hard to break the addiction of love.