my 1st year as a "Nana."

Learn to Earn

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Steps Toward My Destiny

Crazy for some to pursue the path of uncertainty and insecurity, but such is sanity for others to drive where they believe they are meant to be. Some day I want to be a philanthropist.  They only way to get a sense of this is to help others reach their goals and dreams with what I currently have which is just me.
So I am helping BARE Bully Awareness Resistance Education, Inc. a non profit based out of Huntington Beach. We are preparing for an event where BARE will gain some of the proceeds. And the experience of event planning and marketing is priceless.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Get Back, get back to where I once belonged

Holy Moley! It has been ages since I have been here because eBlogger had changed how I access my blogs; my memory fails me when I don't use it.  I don't dwell on how to get back on track; I just get around to trying and trying again to get or do something and then finally get back where I need to be. This makes me think of the Beatles song:


I have been on a very long journey since March of 2013. It's too much to write about now as I am busy working on a project and working on working.  But suffice to say, I have been and am exactly where I am suppose to be at exactly the right time for my spiritual life on earth.

While in Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Paula, I have made many wonderful friends in the last couple years, and have had some very enriching experiences in Leadership, Vegetable Gardening for FOOD Share and learning about Financial Services with PHP, People helping People, and at Briggs School.  All during this time my mom's health was declining. And, in the process of living and caregiving, I help her resolve many past issues that hurt her.  She was able to go to heaven in Peace. I cannot ask for more than that in my life. And yet God is letting me carry on and knows there will be more requests and blessings that he know I need better than I know that I need for myself.

For example: With my burning arthritis, and onset and increasing foot problems in the last handful of years, I hardly drive and when I have it has been for short distances at a time. But when my teaching contract ended this year, I was not going to pay rent for a cramped room and uncomfortable life style when I did not have new income coming in.  at the same time I was on a mission to get to Idaho for my daughter's wedding. Little did I know that I would get turn around in the night sky and end up in Provo, Bountiful, Logan Utah and Paris Idaho. I little but super personal miracle happened there for me.  So for now, I will leave you with this thought: God is watching over us.

My mom was a huge history buff.  So much so that I believe she has lived many lives and been through history time and time again as a warrior. She was brave to face the end of live and lived the best she could.  She and my dad are truly soul mates and they are together again. On the day of her death, I had a job interview at Briggs School at 8:30 AM; Mom died 8 hours later; Eight hours after while having breakfast with family, I got the call with the offer to work Briggs. Not knowing where I would go since my mom and I had a dependent symbiotic relationship, I was stunned at God's timing!

Family did not realize at the time and thought I would have to move to Idaho. I took the offer because the timing of it was uncanny! One of my sister's had texted me months before mom died she "hoped" I knew that I was doing God's work." by taking care of mom. My mom was able to talk a lot while I lived with her.  She processed a life time of memories. She recovered the essence of who her soul has always been. And, one of the things in history that she spent a lot of time talking about was the Civil War. Mom had many books on the subject and a map showing the divisions between the North and South.

That week, the family had to start the process of dividing up my parents belonging. I am not sure if anyone remembered I was /am a teacher. I let go of the idea myself. It did not make sense for me to take much since most of my teaching materials are in storage.  It made more sense to let a lot go to younger teachers in our family. I did not know what grades or subjects or with whom I would be teaching. But, a still small voice inside me said to gingerly take the map of the Civil War Boundaries of the closet door in my mom's spare-room and put it in my teacher briefcase. Much to my delight, one of my partner teachers is a master at teaching 8th grade History. She exposed the students to the Common-core Standards without using a text book.  She tied all the facets of the politics and the reason people had to fight on both sides and cross referenced graphic articles, images and books.  The discussions students had were in-depth and engaged a lot of perspectives. But, she needed a good illustration of the where the South and north were divided. I had it!   It still moves my soul to say this that I said to the lead teacher, "You need this for your class. It use to hang in my mom's home.  She would love the way you teach history. My mom and I would be honored for you to keep this." Sharing our tears and hugs, she accepted and had it laminated. She hung this in her room with the other images. By the time she shared videos about the Civil War I asked her if she had ever seen the movie Shenandoah with Jimmy Stewart. She had not. Someday I will get her the DVD.

By the end of this school year, students showered me with lots of love and respect, more than I could ever imagine. These are students with whom I would like to follow on their journeys. After studying the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, some of the students seemed to know that this teacher is preparing them for the future possibility of war in our own back yards, and that war has various personal effects on people whether or not we are on the frontlines.

In the meantime the year came to a close and I had to go on with my life journey. As I got lost in the night to wake up driving my car with the east on what I thought was my west side, I got way-laid at a hospital due to sleep deprivation.  This cost me to miss my daughter's wedding. After getting out in Provo Utah, I resumed traveling north. I stumbled on the places that God designed for me to see. One of the spots was while driving slowly on a sleepy Sunday in Bountiful, Utah where I happen to look to the west side of the road, Hwy 89, to see my financial services company's logo on the window of a multiple story building. I turned around and left my calling card.  I was excited and feel blessed to have stumbled on this! Not wanting to get lost again, the next place was Logan Utah because map and the road signs were not matching. I ask a nice young man working at Carl's Junior if he could read maps. (Most places I went people were blown away that I did not have a GPS device.) This guy did not skip a beat and told me he use to be a boy scout... we discarded the map and he gave me directions orally with descriptions of the terrain. I followed them and they were spot on! I told him that I needed to get to Jackson Hole by night fall to make it to Yellowstone the next day and then across Montana to get to the panhandle of Idaho. (This is an adventure for a 60 year old disabled woman.) He warned me that it was a long ride to Wyoming. And with a somber look, he said he had not traveled in a long time. My heart sank for him; a young man should not have to be anchored down. He has been on my heart ever since. As I went to the left (more east again) into a canyon, it narrowed with the Logan River on my right, just as he had said. The river was  full flowing fast for the month of July. After miles and miles, I got to the peak of the canyon, and just as the scout depicted, there was the vista of vast placid waters of Bear Lake. Several very tiny towns were about every 15 to 20 minutes along the western shorelines. I stopped at one in the bottom east corner of Idaho, called Paris.  There was what felt like a trading post and a large park like area with a an old historical brick  building and a few monuments. I stopped there for a snack and heard some beautiful music coming out of the building as if it were calling to me to enter. I walk slowly with my limp and apprehensively entered the sanctuary. It turned out to be a Mormon Tabernacle with artifacts in the foyer, from the pioneers and original settlers of Paris. Just as I crossed the threshold into the church, I heard and saw, way up in the rafters by the large organ pipes, the choir women on the left and men on the right, flooded the building with the striking sound of the chorus to Shenandoah.


I, in turn, burst into tears! My eyes watered for about an hour as I sat in the back of the church behind a pillar and listened to them practice. There were only two other people in the pews. I did not realize how much I had been through since March of 2013 to the summer of 2014 until then.  But, God knew and he knew where I needed to be at this moment in time and space. God knew/knows how passionate I am about my fellow man and country.

Some family and friends were concerned and wanted to stop me from driving so far since they know I have trouble driving. Physical pain is my constant companion whether I am on a job or sleeping in bed; so I felt what did it matter if I am driving to where I wanted to go. (It would be worse to be force to do labor for some oppressive organization. I had a B-day party before I left and supportive friends gathered round me and gifted me with gas and food money and books to feed my soul. I told them "Don't worry about me."

I desperately needed to see the western states that my mom and dad had driven my siblings and me through in our elementary school years. This is something I felt induced to do for my spiritual well being! Crazy as some people thought I was to embark on this trip alone, I made it to Jackson Hole in time to get the last room at Motel 6.  Half of the next day, was spent traveling to Yellowstone. Where I waited in a front row seat for 45 minutes to see Old Faithful erupt. Enjoying being in the present, I met a young man there from the past territory of my mom's kin, Kentucky. My mind kept reflecting on the richness may parents gave me and my sisters and brother by taking us on road trips! My mom was brought to California to live and have us. Doctors said she would have died in the winter weather back east.  My dad's parents pioneered their way here too. His dad was a railroad mail carrier and his mom was a Harvey Girl. I don't believe our personal histories are all coincidence. I do believe I am sensitive to connecting the dots that God lays before me. I think now that Mom and Dad may be with spiritually at some of these precious moments. I had a picnic with college mates from Montana near the boarder of Canada at the top of Idaho,  From Idaho, after spending time with my grandchildren, daughter and her new husband, I went to the southwest dips of Puget Sound see the grandma of one of my Ventura garden volunteer's because of that strong soulful connection that I feel for her in my heart. Then a must see was another college mate in Vancouver, WA to share the joy of her sweet dogs! I could not resist the  pull I felt to see one of my dad's cousin in Oregon in Grant's Pass. And, onward to see the coastal Redwoods just because I could not remember seeing them with my parents.

Trailer to Redwood Highway

After having a front tire blow out and meeting a nice man who son insisted he come back around the freeway off and on ramps to check on me, eventually I made it to Ukiah to see my colligates' (now from Montana) parents. We are all getting up there in years. I am blessed to have so many friends. I was getting tired from staying with friends on the fly for one night at a time, so before getting home to Ventura, I stayed with my long time friend, from an old security job, in Arroyo Grande for nearly a week to rest. I applied online along the way for various jobs, including teaching. All said and done, I need to pass these ways again several times over!

Now fast forward to mid summer time, I made it back to Ventura with not much to offer people other than myself, my teaching and people skills. I spent a week with a professional colleague and love collaborating with her on her photography and our self-growth.  Ventura community could not offer something immediately for my longer term needs. So prayers go up and answers come down. Someone dear to me in Orange County called me to help with a project she has undertaken. And, that may be the next story.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Checking Success is Like Checking When Spaghetti is Ready

Do you have many interests?  Is choosing one thing to focus on too difficult for you? It is for me! I think I would die if I could only do one thing. I thank God that I live in a country that allows us to choose our destinies.

I know there are studies proving that MultiTasking or zigzagging is not efficient in the work place. I believe this is true for a job. People are specialized for a reason; they can accomplish their tasks and projects needed by their companies to profit and improve their field and services.  But, the bosses and owners have to oversee a sea of things. They are likely looking at many little things in their grand schemes. Like Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Dr. Oz, Dr. Myron Wentz, Patrick Bet-David, etc., They need trusted specialists to delegate tasks to and  have confidence they know their jobs so that work will be completed to their standards. All these people have high standards. Think about people like Ty Pennington and Ryan Seacrest. How do they get to do so many things? Multitasking! There is a blessing to hyperactivity and attention deficits, even mania; they really are strengths.

There is too much to know in a given, short, life time.  Trump chose Real Estate from a young age because he was mentored by his father, but his dynasty is multifaceted. Dr. Wentz had to chose between music and scientific endeavors in preventative medicine, but has built USANA to address many health concerns. Patrick Bet-David, author of Doing the Impossible, is deveopling the fastest growing financial services firm to help save America's middle class! I could go on.  But the point is they need experts for specific things. I am not an expert, but I want and need a lot of specialists surrounding me.

Like this week I am going to get my taxes done; I am not going to the plummer for that!

So, what do you do for your personal growth and satisfaction when you like a lot of things? The way I see it is, you "build dreams and people will come." What is your "Field of Dreams?" And, how much of it can you build in the life you may or may not have left? Who will help you? and how will what you build help them?

I have put all of my most precious interests into the pot of my life. Each project has been like a strand of Spaghetti. In fact, I have several kinds of skinny pasta brewing in the same pot. In stirring and cooking it for a long time, I can see that some noodles are musch now, and some are too firm, but when I test the texture of my cuisine, I throw it on the wall to see what sticks. What sticks is on my list? What sticks best is on the top of my list; what's on the back burner on a low temp is on the bottom of my list.

Some of my close associates and mentors differ in their opinions. I have a littany of things I do listed after my signature in my email to folks I know. These are not business or company letters, yet. I don't get paid for most of them, yet. ('Key word: yet!) But, when people start taking what I do seriously and find value it what I am putting together, my dreams will come to pass and many people will benefit from my list when things come to fruition. When I have established my personal branding, I can drop the long list behind my sig. becasue enough people will know what I am all about and all I do.

Only a few people have found my list of personal interests and affliations distainable. Why? After all, no one else, especially professionals, have such a long list behind their name.  All I can say is, "Well, I am not like everyone else." What's that saying, "...those that matter don't mind"? I think if there is a rule book on this, it is man-made and limiting. Does our Divine Power care how much or little we put behind a signature? My attitude:I am not like everyone; this sets me apart from mediocrity. I do things to make people realize there is something unique and special about me and what I am developing. I wonder what percentage of the population feels they must conform to a signature style in their personal emails.  I think that part of the grammar book is obsolete. Look at how people dress, many styles are "in".

That is why I like being an entrepreneur. Heck, if Richard Branson can do as much as he does, do "yo thin" it matters how he signs his emails. So can I, have my own bylines, with meager means I have so far. So can you! If you, thrive on diversity, creativity and your "out of this earth" imagination, you won't allow people to set limits on you. Every day, nearly every minute, I am working on my dreams. When they come to pass, many people will not know all the work that went into them.  But, my closest friends and associates will know because they see my bucket list every time I send them and email.

I am thankful for my mentors, Chris Lopez, George Fox, Robert Hirabayashi, Mike Watts, Kate Northup, Collette Larson, Denis Waitley, Kathy Kahler, GemmaRae Hughes, John Assaraf, Dr. Denis Waitley, Robert G Allen, Frank Kern, Robert Kyosaki, Donald Trump, Anthony Robins, Eric Lofholm, Cheri Tree, Brenda Avadavian, Gabriel Swan, Jason and Dianna Graziani, Ken Serna, Alfredo Garcia, Matt Coulthard and countless others who are showing me how to build with all they have to offer and knowlwedge they generously share.

Robert Hirabayashi wrote a book, Your Rate Race Escape Plan, Transition out of you 9 to 5 Job. Robert is my friend. He makes it really clear on page 56 people need to get of have a job that supports them and then some before thay can transition to entrepreneurship.

I am happy and excited that I interviewed for Agriculture Inspector Trainee with the County of Ventura this week. I am on pins waiting to know if they will hire me.  My close friends and associates will know from an email soon if I got the job. I can see myself specializing in Agriculture for a career since I have dabbled in it all my life. However, will the retirement income from that job or any job be enough?

I know and have witnessed over and over again (with each passing granparent) the exhuberant costs of being elderly! A day job is not enough if this day and age. People need two and three jobs to support their families. Having a job with residual or royalty-like income is essential if you want a lifestyle that is more than mere survival.

So, Gabe has simplified it even more for me recently: For right now, since my mom is on hospice, my concentration for PHP needs to be on making phone calls and appointments.  My current focus is "good paying steady job first, mom and PHP until I am on my feet! The next 60 days are crucial so I can help my mom financially.

Twenty years times 52 weeks equals, the same number of a form we use to file our taxes: 1040. If a person only has 20 years left they have some choices to make, spend it focused on one or a few big things. As an entrepreneur, I have a launching-list of things I want to A-ccomplish before I kick the bucket. Working this list is not quite like a "bucket list" because there you check things off as they are done and never do it again. My list is not my "to do" task list (although, I do have that for each project). My launching-list is part of the legacy that I want to get off the ground that will live on long after I am gone. It should evolve with my posterity. Hopefully my various company teams get larger so that they leave behind prosperity for many people that break cycles of poverty.

So my process in building big dreams is to try weaving all my passions together that bring myself and others joy.  Together we will see what sticks! My autolist below my email signature is my way of making sure my associates, friends and family know what is going on in my professional and personal life.

For those who have varied desires, for the human who only has about 1000 weekends left in their life, then multitasking and zigzagging from project to project, to complete tasks after task, is the fastest way to get the most accomplished in a lifetime, (not at work or a job). The finish line is important! Finish what you have to do to move forward to the next phase in life or work! There are only so many burners on the stove and loops on a race track. You will know you have done a good job, when what you do sticks!

That is how I test to see if my spaghetti is ready to eat. Really, I am not kidding, I throw a cooked spahgetti noodle on the wall! If it sticks, it's ready. In the end, biblically, all things will be written on a wall. Ready or not....

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Learning how to have a Radio Show

I have set aside Sundays at 3 PM to interview people by phone and broadcast on the Internet:

Be the Captain of Your Soul

Go to or dial in to listen (347)945-7704.
I have to "conquer" this radio talk skill as part of my destiny. The hardest part so far has been getting to the computer every Sunday at 3 PM.  Something always seems to get in the way.  It is most peoples day of rest.  So I thought it might be fun to relax and talk on the this blog radio every Sunday.

Why did I pick Sunday? Mostly as a day of reflection and way to get focused for the week and help others do the same.

I am all about learning.  I firmly believe we learn from each other do matter what our station is in life.
And those of us who  have learned the hard way, make great teachers of what not to do!  We need to take heed from those who were smart enough to make their dreams and the dreams of others come true.  In thse hard economic times, some people may be really down right depressed. The doldrums have kept the economy still for too long.  Only the wind that we create on our own will get our sails pumped; only collectively, can we gain speed. In other words, everybody has to get this economic ship moving! Talk is the pump; action is what happens when we all do our part: Part time, quarter time, full time or in some cases, all of the time. What's on your scedule at 3 PM, Sunday?  I hope you can join me. Call (347)945-7704. I say that so that I will be held accountible to this dream of skill building.

In this show, I will share what I've been doing in hopes it will help you share what you have been doing to make this world a better place.  Think Globally, but act locally! Someday, your local action will reach around the globe. And if that reach is done on the Internet, it can happen faster than your pocket book could take you.

For example, I want to learn how to speak Portuguese and see Portugal.  I can do that by books and the Internet now for low to no cost. These are preparatory steps to the real deal. But, I have to be realistic. Life is short! Unless I take massive action today and every day, I may never get to Europe. But the thought of that is new in my head and I may hve 20 years left to accomplish it. 20 years is only 1040 Sundays away. Every week is valuable because we never get them back! 

So for now I need to at least spend one day a week learning how to reach via BTR: Blog Talk Radio. I already have people in mind to interview.  If you are interested in sharing your wisdom with me, drop me a line.

In a world of absurdities, we need to be able to speak more candidly. As a credentialed teacher, I am so tired of political correctness that skirt issues. I like to be able to straight talk with my students, parents, bosses,  friends and family ... without worry about offending them with honesty. How will we ever get better as humans if we can't unveil what folks don't like to admit about life, death, and what really matters when it comes to healing, love and money, much less, admit they deserve a grade on a report card. What is worse than getting an "A" and still not feeling good enough. "Enough is enough!" I am about being a change catalyst to overall health: mental, physical, fiscal and spiritual. I am about being an advocate for people who take responsibility. I strive to "be the change I want to see in the world." I am enough if I am doing my best!

What is your best? What do you offer people to help them? In turn how does that help yourself and others?

I want to help people change the things they can to make life better and easier. And, like the Serenity Prayer says, with wisdom, help people discern the difference of what we have no control to be able to move forward, up and over hurdles to getting back the American Dream. Keep in mind this concept is fast becoming World Dreams in a Global Economy. Being the Captain of your Soul is meant to help people take their life in any direction(s)and distance(s) they desire.  

For example, I desire a better body so that it is easier to function. The key here is doing the hard work to get a stronger body.  It's up to me. Only I can exercise my body to make it easier to lift, pull, push: and work. The pain to gain is such that the dream to master something has to be greater that the fears or unwillingness to be disciplined. In other words, how bad do we want the change we say we do?

Though I am a novice at Blog Talk Radio, my life is rich with experiences. I want this program to be used for enriching the lives of others: how healthy we are on all levels in the continuum of space and time.

I am a folksy person and will speak candidly to get to the root of issues. I am so tired of issues not being dealt with directly and constructively. It seems as if too many of people, including myself, are in denial about so much in life. Death and taxes are real; so, let's get real about dealing with the present and doing something today to prepare for the future. Let's talk prevention of practical problems, preparation to handle the inevitable, and choose to accept our final destinations no matter how we get there.  

Own your journey; you are the captain of your soul. Only you can "conquer yourself". ~Invictus

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Teaching vs. Entrepreneurship

My friends and family have known for a while of my entrepreneurial ventures. Few know of my ultimate dream to be an owner of a dance company. And though they may support me is spirit, they don't acutally support any of my dreams by buying anything from me. Therefore, I am compelled to continue applying for traditional jobs.

What saddens me is that, in this day and economic age, most traditional jobs do not support an individual in a nice home of their own. Thus, cost of living is the reason to marry or live with relatives or roommates. Years ago, I was the marrying type before I was jaded by one too many partners. I do not believe that I will find a mate who will desire the greatness I desire, and I know that is what would work for me. In time, as I change me, my belief in meeting the right cohort for me may change.  Roomates are an option that I am seriously considering, but again I must have professional and entrpreneurial compatibility there too. I would like to hang with a person like Sir Richard Branson. Some one who is not afraid to take calculated risks to reach the stars. I have one girlfriend, Patti who is a close like minded professional who wants what I want. Liberty and freedom to be a small business owner! So we are working on getting positioned, getting our ducks in order. I am greatful for her!

Alsa, in the meantime, I had an interview yesterday to substitute teach for Ventura Unified School District. I thought the interview went well and settled my anieties about not knowing for sure how well I was received with that saying, "you can't say the wrong thing to the right person...." I can only hope VUSD values what I have to offer them.  If not, they are not the right district for me. They did steer me to the County Office of Education to get my transcripts evaluated so that I can teach single subjects. Eventually I want the following single subject teaching authorizations: Biology, PE, Health, and Agriculture. Pyschology is also of big interest to me way down the road. I want to get a Nutritional Therapy Certificate and more. I will start CERT training next Wednesday for 6 weeks and willbe preparing to give emergency preparedness presentations at shools and organizations. But honestly, I think I am educated enough and have enough peices of paper.  I just want to create "proof in the pudding" and get on with making a living.  If getting back into teaching is going to be harder than breaking into "show biz," I will still be the "captain of my soul" as
William Ernest Henley put it in words so well:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

So incase you do not know me, my soul wants to dance, iceskate, play tennis, play golf, swim, sing, garden, write, teach, public speak, become wealthy enough to leave a legacy with lots of funding for current and future generations.  And to be honest, if my friends and family are not with me, I feel like they are against me. So that is when and why, I will search for those who are with me. To the scrooges and misers in the world, all I can say is what Tiny Tim said, "God love us one and all." My grandparents were entrepreneurs. Let's fix the economy by supporting each others trades and services. Be the change you want to see in the world! Money is like maneurer; it does no good unless you spread it around.  My most high prayer is that I can always be a generous person!

Supporting Small Business Owners is a way to support America!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I was there to witness this!  Frailty after 40 is killer!
Compare a smokers lungs to healthy lungs.
What happens to you when you have heart disease?
See and hear the animation from Dr. Oz.
Stress is addressed with an easy minute by minute fix.
Do you have blood sugar issues.  Diabetes is costing us our future!
What are you and I going to do about it ???
Taking responsibility for our health will help our economy!!!
And the best benefit is that we can improve the quality of our lives and our families' joys.
Please let's get off our duffs and do something, not just talk about it.

Candidly, KandidKate.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Educational Family Road Trip Tips

How to plan an educational road trip for the family

Inspire your children with images. What’s on your coffee table? Do you have magazines about National Parks, Ranger Rick or National Geographic? What’s on your walls? Do you have pictures of Yosemite or the Grand Canyon? What’s in your wallet? It may not be capital, but you have dreams to lead your family on adventures.

Where on earth can you do this? Imagine taking four kids (or a family of four) to stand in four states at the same time, and take a snapshot of this! “How is that possible?” the children will think. Leave this concept open for anticipation!

My dad and mom knew how to intrigue their four children. Sometimes they would add a couple cousins and collies into a ‘56 Chevy for two weeks every summer and drive us cross country, into Mexico and up to Canada to explore and feel the geography and geology of this planet. They took us back in time by talking about with inhabitants who came before us. This pioneering spirit gets passed down through generations if the experiences are filled with pleasurable memories, even if there are mishaps.

Imagine going over the Continental Divide? The kids will keep asking, “What is a continental divide?” You don’t necessarily need the answers to your questions; you just need questions to raise curiosity. Sometimes the terms you use in your children’s youth will resonate when they graduate from college. Their sense of appreciation for knowledge and experiences will be heightened because they had first hand or hands on knowledge from your road trips. Trust that such excursions will be your legacy. You will be providing your children with something that can never be taken away from them.

So let’s get on the road here and pack your trunk with tools you may need to help you on your way:

1st, get a map! Map the trip out, but be prepared for anything! Spontaneity and the unexpected will occur, guaranteed, but such events teach children to go with the flow and adapt to situations. Literally map out as much as you can. You will need the distance between destinations to be reasonable for the comfort of your children based upon their age. Children need to move! Being cramped in a car for too long will make for cranky-moods and potential illnesses. Fresh air and room to run every couple hours may take you longer to get to your destinations, but it helps you smell the roses along the way. If you have friends along the way, this is a good time to visit them as a weigh-station. Calling them in advance to let them know your plans and to see if they are available when you will be passing through ensures your welcome arrival and departure.

2nd, know your budget for gas, food and accommodations. Do the math on your miles per gallon and allow for a weighted car. If you are on a tight budget, friends along the way may be a place you can spend the night. See if camping is more your style, but have funds for a motel incase of inclement weather. Treat yourselves to restaurants that have historical significance. Ask the locals for suggestions. Also, let your children pick out some of their favorite snacks to pack. Prepare some cold recipes in advance like fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs, and veggie-dips and trays. A cooler of food that you do not have to cook will save you time and lots of money along the way. Picnics serve three purposes: They save you money, time and help the kids get ants out of their pants.

3rd, prepare for the unexpected. Many road trips are riffed with mechanical trouble that could be costly, like a broken fan belt. Have enough money in an account to cover at least $888 in repairs! If you are travelling on a Sunday or holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, be prepared to spend money for a hotel room until the auto repair shops open the next day. If snafus happen, make the best of them. Have and auto club like membership to tow your car and even provide discounts on hotels.

4th, make each experience educational. Include your children in the planning and measuring pros and cons and figuring mitigations plans to adapt to situations. For example, a family of four plans a trip to see nine California Missions in nine days.

Even though they did not have a GPS in their car, the parent got Google map directions to help them go from mission to mission to mission. One of those sets led them on a goose chase! They ended up in a newly constructed community with the same name as the mission. So that mission was scratched from the trip. They found a place to picnic where they could feed a block of geese. Just as well, later they learn the mission they were looking for was so run down it no longer open to the public. Google and GPS are not guarantees to getting where you want to be; this in itself is an important lesson to learn.

5th, have portable DVD players for kids now a days. In the old days, we could have kids easily entertained by singing songs, counting hay trucks or cows. Children today, have a need from much more stimulation. Also they can feel deprived when the ride along at night and see many cars with built in video devices. Imagine what Father Serra and his group of horse back wagon riding missionaries would think if they saw El Real Camino (101 HWY) full of cars and glow and speed or traffic jams through Santa Barbara or Encino, CA just a tiny 200 years later. Take kids back in time to imagine what it must have been like to travel this way without cell phones but just a bell to ring to hear where the path leads. Children begin to appreciate what they have. Still, if modern technology is what we need today, designate a portion of the time to look out the window to see the country side. Find DVDs about your destinations, to reinforce your educational goals.

6th, research features along the road, or prior to your trip. You may find Wi-Fi spots or have a Smart Phone with you to search on the web while you are on the road. You may have specialized knowledge yourself. Be the tour guide, for your children. If you know where the San Andreas Fault is exposed, point it out to your children and have a conversation about how land is formed from Plate-tectonics. Imagine that all we see use to be covered with sea water. It is highly recommended that you study a little to explain what your children may ask about. And, if you don’t have the answer, show them how to research it!

7th, plan a looped tour. See different terrain and scenic spots on the return route home. This may be a chance of a life time. You may never pass this way again. So, you want to get the maximum out of your educational excursion. If you live in the desert and your children have never seen the ocean, you owe it to your children to not be deprived of experiencing what this earth has to offer. If you live in the green belt, your children deserve to view the browns and golden hues of the western states. The climb over the Rocky Mountains is worth it no matter which side of that range you live! Take a northern route there and a southern route on your return. If your destinations are north or south from where you start, veer to east on your tour and bend a bit to the west on your way back. Perhaps you can follow a historical path of Indians or a group of people. Imagine what it would have been like to be pioneers! Appreciate the paths that have been paved for us because of trail blazers like John C. Fremont, John Muir or explores like Lewis and Clark. Chart your own expedition and make it part of your own family’s heritage.

8th, be flexible. Nothing can spoil a family trip faster than if you feel you must get to every destination on a strict schedule. This is not a school field trip. The goal is for you and your children to retain historical memories for your family to reminisce about many years from now, and to enhance what and how your children learn throughout their schooling and life. Stress and painful memories can easily be block or forgotten or even regurgitate a bad sensation when memories are triggered years later. Remember that, like life, the trip is not necessarily about the destination as much as what we learn a long the journey.

9th, document your trip, especially those that depict the historical, cultural and scientific aspects of the knowledge you gained along the way. Take pictures; make some Slide-shows and videos; write an e-book; create a scrap book; draft a map of your path for others to follow.

So, whether your destination is the Four Corners Monument in the western desert or around the girth earth, your trip will set a tone for future generations in your family to appreciate how far mankind has come and where we are headed.