Friday, June 19, 2009

RSVPing is Good Manners

Dear Good Manners Devotee':

Whew! It has been a busy time at the Good Manners House, as I am sure it has been at your house if you have children who are getting out of school.

Our school ends late here -- the 23rd of June! All the other schools around us ended one, two -- even three weeks ago. My niece and nephew live in Louisiana and they've been out since Memorial Day.

Needless to say, the Good Manners Daughters are chomping at the bit, very eager to start summer vacation.

During this wild time, we took the opportunity to show off our newly-cleaned out house (mentioned in my last post) by having a party last weekend. I have one general good manners comment to make for the benefit of party givers everywhere: when someone invites you to a party, please RSVP. It lets the host and hostess know how much food and drinks to purchase and prepare.

That being said, all of our Good Manners guests DID RSVP (41 adults and 16 children). Well, all except for one couple and child (making the total 43 and 17 respectively), who we sort of expected because another person told us (when RSVPing) that she had talked to the mom about the party. But she did not RSVP for that family. It's a technicality, but it still sort of seems a tiny, little, microscopic bit inconsiderate to me.

While all of this has been going on, I have been working on the designs for the new plates and bowls we are hoping to add to the Good Manners Kids Stuff site this summer. And I've also been reviewing proofs for my new book on good sportsmanship that will be available this summer, too. If you'd like to read some insider scoop on self-publishing, check out when you have a moment.

Until I blog again with tidbits of mannerly stuff, I send you "Happy End of School and Start of Summer Vacation" wishes!


Monday, June 1, 2009

KIVA and cleaning out

Dear Good Manners Devotee',

My apologies for not posting sooner. The Good Manners Family has been cleaning up its act over the last two weeks. (I didn't have a good enough excuse to stop cleaning and start posting -- as much as I wanted to!)

Dear Devotees', it pains me to write that not only does the Good Manners Family have a tendency to be pack rats but we seem to be pathologically unable to pick up after ourselves.

There isn't a homework assignment, poem, painting, invitation, coupon, magazine, recipe, book, cat toy, outgrown sweater, hair band, marker, single sock, shopping list, etc., that we haven't kept. I even found many (and I mean many) old plastic baby bottles that I had stored in case we had another Good Manners Baby. That was 9 years ago (and, no, we didn't).

Ironically, I just changed the channel and came upon Clean House. (I miss Niecey Nash.)

Anyway, about the Good Manners Family's newly Clean House -- there's definitely something real about clutter sucking the life and energy out of things. I already feel invigorated.

Plus we've been able to have some Good Manners Friends over without embarrassment. And I'm not yelling all the time for someone to ignore me when I ask someone to pick something up. It's been a long process (and there are still a couple of piles on the dining room table and in the garage that need our attention), but it's just about over. Phew.

All this trash got me thinking about how lucky we are when there are so many people in the world who have so little -- while we have so much excess and waste.

We did donate a lot of our stuff to Good Will and Purple Heart. But I wanted to tell you about this great non profit organization called KIVA, because it's another way we could use our abundance to help others.

The Good Manners Daughters and I recently took some of our proceeds from our site and made a donation. Here's how KIVA works: they register people from all over the world who are looking for help to make their lives better. The people ask for a loan for their business and you can help them by lending them a portion (or all) of their loan amount. The loan is repayed over a pre-determined time frame.

It was great to involve the Good Manners Daughters in reading all of the stories and making our decision over who would get our first loan. It showed them, too, how many people working together, even just by donating a little money, can really make a difference.

Sort of like how a family, members working together, each doing a little bit of work (i.e., putting that candy wrapper in the trash can) makes light work for the whole entire family.

Is that a stretch to make a point, Devoted Fans? My apologies. It's time for bed -- and a dreamless sleep in our clutter-free bedroom.

Until I post again,